Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Prayers for Bobby

On January 24th, Lifetime will air a movie based on the bestselling and incredibly sad book, Prayers for Bobby. If the movie is as good as the trailer and follows the book, this will be an incredible movie. Signorney Weaver stars as Mary Griffith, Bobby's mom.

I remember reading the book over a decade ago and having to put it down after each chapter because I was crying so hard. Seriously, it'll rip your heart out. The book chronicles the life of Bobby Griffith up to his suicide and shows how his family reacted to his self-identification as a young gay man. What makes the book so revealing is that Bobby kept a diary. In it, he reveals his self-loathing and the reader understands his sadness as he takes his own life. But the story doesn't end there--it continues on in the life of his mother. The book explains and shows her own personal transformation to become a leader in PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Thin Line

Most people know the old addage, 'The difference between love and hate is a thin line.' The vigor one has for someone they love can sour into the same passionate response as experienced as hate. Anyone who has ever loved someone more than anything they've ever imagined--and then, hated that very same person when their love ended can testify to this strange but true reality.

And, we don't have to look to relationship gone bad to see a modern example of this phenomena. We only need turn to Barack Obama's decision to have Rick Warren pray his inauguration. Just a month ago, the tide of pride and hoopla surrounding his election was heard the world over. Who'd've thunk he'd ever get elected? Liberals, gay folks, and moderate America was celebrating like no other. Coming off 8-years of President Bush, America was ecstatic over Obama.

And just as bright and shiny as the celebration began, it is fizzling with the same intensity. And, why? Because a politician, who never supported gay marriage in the first place, picked an evangelical who has said horrible things about gay marriage but supports civil partnerships, just as Obama does. They have a common issue, granting legal rights to gay folks--but using different language to justify it. And, to Obama's credit, he picked a liberal the Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, a wonderful liberal in his own right who does support gay marriage, to end his inauguration. In this way, he is sandwiching himself between religious extremes hoping to be the middle ground in American politics.

Unfortunately what Obama didn't expect is that in American religion, nothing is worse than being 'luke-warm' and in politics luke-warm often equals 'middle ground'. He is learning that his position will offend both sides of the religious debate. To Obama's credit though, he doesn't seem to care. He is forging ahead doing what he thinks is the right thing and, I would agree. But then, I know that Obama is a politician and not a prophet.

Maybe some liberals were hoping for an opposite-President to everything Bush wasn't. Such an idea is misguided at best and naively ignorant at worst. However, from the looks of things, it sure looks like liberal America put their hopes in Obama in a way that is disengenuous to any healthy relationship by championing him as their savior in American politics. It won't take long (and we can already see that) as bitterness will surely follow. It's a shame though, Obama hasn't even stepped foot in office and we've already turned on him.

I shudder to think what'll happen when Obama disappoints us again (and, he surely will). Will we call for impeachment if we discover an unpleasant secret of his? Will we impeach him because he still smokes cigarettes?

Seriously, we're blowing this thing WAY out of proportion. We elected Obama because we wanted something different in Washington. Let's give him a chance to show us something different rather than just more of the same sort of 'its us against them' mentality that has continued to divide us as a nation.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama Selecting Warren

If you're a daily blog reader, you've no doubt already read the stink about Obama selecting Rick Warren, the mega-church pastor at Saddleback Church to pray at Obama's inauguration. I have spent the day reading LGBT responses that all say the same thing..."We've been sold out!"

Personally, I am not as offended as most. Obama's a politician (and better than most, in my opinion). He makes his choices for reasons and from what the Obama folks have said, it makes sense they'd choose someone like Warren. I am disappointed that a UCC minister wasn't chosen and that an evangelical like Warren was favored instead. Still, it's all politics, right?

But then, I read a great piece written by Pastor Dan at Street Prophets. This post really hits home for me my feelings of angst but not over-the-top feelings. While I still have trouble with the GD cuss word, this post nails it for me. Seriously, if you haven't already read it, give it a shot. Maybe it'll hit home for you too.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Benny Hinn in a Fun Video

If you know who Benny Hinn is, you might enjoy this short video set to the tune of one of Benny Hill's sketches.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prop 8 Video

This is a cute and fun short play written about about Prop 8:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Were the World Mine

Last night, Friday, Jay and I met up with some old friends of mine, Doug and Jose, for a fun evening of dinner, a movie, and coffee and desserts afterwards. We had an all around great time in the Fabulous City (my new name for New York City).

And, I ran into blogging celebrities Josh and Josh while standing in line. I looked over and recognizing them, I said, "Say!! You're Josh of Josh and Josh, right?" We had a nice time talking about the hoopla over the premier of the movie Were the World Mine. It seems every homo in NYC wanted to see this movie and the line was stretched down the block just to get in.

The movie itself was a wonderful experience. It tells a modern interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. To be honest, every other version of that play has confused me...I guess it took a gay subtext to help me understand what was going on. The actors were great and the singing exceptional. And, it had a great ending (I hate movies with tragic endings).

If the movie is playing in your area, you simply must go see it. Below is the trailer for the film.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Power of Love

Andrew Sullivan posted this email he received from one of his readers. I love it.

I am a 26 year old heterosexual, white male who is in the best relationship of my life. She is a 26 year old Egyptian woman. We're very happy and recently she met most of my family and extended family. They loved her as well. We even hope to marry someday. I am so grateful that I live in a country that would honor that bond. As you know, it wasn't too long ago that our relationship would not be recognized in many states. That being said, I've taken the stand that I do not want to join the institution of marriage until it is one that allows ALL loving couples to join.

This has been met with raised eyebrows by some in my family. It's not really understood why I would care so much about an issue that doesn't affect me directly. But as an American - it absolutely does. I live in a country that will recognize my relationship but won't recognize another.

The reasons are endless. Gay marriage threatens "traditional marriage" (so did my inter-racial relationship once upon a time). The Bible said man should not lie with man (guess what the Bible thought of me being with an Egyptian -yikes). I've had family, whom are genuinely good people, say that it just weird's them out, they are old-fashioned, it's not the way marriage has been for thousands of years (again - look at my relationship - the same was said about couples like us). So it does affect me. The parallels are numerous. I am so lucky I was born into a generation that approves of the love I feel towards her. Yet, I live in the same generation that doesn't approve of yours - at least in the eyes of the State. But we're getting there.

I was once of the same mindset of most of my family. Being gay was wrong. Then I went to The Ohio State University, and guess what? I met gay people. They were nice, they were jerks, they were shy and they were outgoing. My God, they were like me. Familiarity was the key. It was ok for me to accept that lifestyle because it wasn't "foreign" anymore. Progress, as you have said, will be made in not by litigation so much but in our living rooms, with friends and family. I speak very openly on this issue with my family now. They are great people that, frankly, maybe fear what they don't understand. But maybe I can be that connection to an understanding. Maybe seeing how I feel and how it hasn't destroyed my relationships will help them realize - it's ok. They can in one moment look at my girlfriend and I and hope to see us marry - then in the next moment disapprove of another loving couple wanting to do the same. I wish they looked at your love the same way they look at mine.

There's no need to be afraid. Gays aren't here to destroy marriage. They just want to enjoy it, stress about it, succeed at it, fail at it - as much as the rest of us. As a son of divorce, I need something to re-instill my faith in marriage. I hope to marry someday, maybe when all 50 states allow Gay marriage, maybe when my home state of Ohio does, I don't know exactly. But I do know I need to see something. Something that says this institution of marriage isn't of the mindset of your local country club's "white's only" policies. I love golf. Can you imagine me, a man with a Middle-Eastern partner, joining a "Whites Only" institution? Me neither. Once that "sign" comes down - I'll be the first to join. Know hope.

Sex Education Done Better

As perhaps some of you may know, Barack Obama isn't too kean on abstinence only sex education. Even more so, he wants to lift 'abstinence only' education when money is given for AIDS causes and prevention. Since most studies have indicated that 'abstinence only' education simply doesn't work, more folks are looking into ways to help stop the transmission and spread of HIV and other STDs.

Honestly, there are quite a few of us folks who are elated that finally we're going to have a broader canopy of education--to include abstinence and other forms of safe sex education and family planning. What exactly that's going to look at, I don't know. But one thing is may look like is akin to a particular video I just watched called "To Spit or Swallow". The video was found on The Midwest Teen Sex Show, a website written and hosted by a mother who explains that everything she talks about she didn't do, when she was a teenager. CBS did a story on her (where I discovered the website) and explained her controversial subject material. Here is that story.

Check out the Spit or Swallow video below.

h/t the Bilerico Project

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pink: So What?

AOL Sessions have recorded Pink singing a few of her latest hits including the incredibly cool, "So What?" I love Pink. Heck, I even won a prize recently in which I received a promo CD (I thought it was going to be her new CD) from The Bilerico Project's CD giveaway. Still, it's a good promo CD and like I said, I simply love Pink.

Go here to watch the AOL Sessions.

Jay Brannan

Ever since I heard him sing "Soda Shop" in the movie Short Bus, I have been captivated by Jay Brannan. His music is cherubic and has just enough of that 'in your face' attitude from a distinctively talented singer.

Check out the video below. (There is explicit language in the song.)

Go here to download his solo album that is just out on iTunes. And yes, I hate the title of his album.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Prop. 8

This is best heard than commented on.

h/t Towleroad

"Still I Rise"

While I am thrilled Obama got elected, I am not so thrilled that so many anti-gay initiatives passed in states across the country. Putting into a state's constitution religious bigotry just seems so unAmerican. If you're feeling like me, take heart. Dr. Maya Angelou tells us that we will prevail against the haters. An abbreviated version of her poem, "Still I Rise":

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear....
I rise
I rise
I rise.

h/t gay atomic wonk

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Are You in the 98% Crowd?

I just got this email sent to me and I did exactly what it said to do and discovered that I have an abnormal mind (which didn't sound like a compliment). So, I am putting it here to see if I am abnormal or if you are...if enough of us are abnormal, wouldn't that mean we're really 'normal' and everyone else is abnormal?

Go ahead, give it a try, and post your answer in the comments section. I'll post how I scored later.

At the end of this message, you are asked a question.
Answer it immediately.
Don't stop and think about it.

Just say the first thing that pops into your mind.

This is a fun 'test'... AND kind of spooky at the same time!
Give it a try and you'll see how many people you know fall into the same percentage as you.

Now - just follow the instructions as quickly as possible. Do not go to the next calculation before you have finished the previous one. You do not ever need to write or remember the answers, just do it using your mind. You'll be surprised.


How much is: 15 + 6


3 + 56


89 + 2


12 + 53


75 + 26


25 + 52


63 + 32


I know!
Calculations are hard work, but it's! nearly over..

Come on, one more! ...

123 + 5



You just thought about a
red hammer , didn't you?

If this is not your answer, you are among 2% of people who have a different, if not abnormal, mind.

98% of the folks would answer a
red hammer while doing this exercise.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Get Off your Butt

...and go vote already!

This may be one of the most important elections in our lifetime. Whatever direction the outcome, you'll be participating in an historical moment. Either our country is screwed for another four years or change is coming.

Here is my hope that change is gonna come, as sung by Seal. Even if you don't want change to come, it's a great video and song just the same.

h/t Queerty

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In Case You Missed It...

... as I did. Here is Barack Obama's 30-minute informercial about his Presidency.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dirty Tricks

Here is another dirty trick. You know there will be people who fall for this.

h/t joe.my.god

Some Scary Stuff

I am getting all tense with this election. And this video isn't helping. It shows an interview with a Country Clerk about the touch screen voting booths and what happens when the machines get off their calibration. Seriously, this could have serious ramifications.

h/t towleroad

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Great Quote

from joe.my.god

"Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

"I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

"To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

"To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked." - David Sedaris, writing about undecided voters in New Yorker.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell: A Racist?

(Click the comic to embiggen it)

Well, Rush Limbaugh is already implying that of him. With Powell's endorsement of Obama, A Town Called Dobson's comic creator has this to say about what we can expect from Powell's endorsement:

I was blown away by Powell’s endorsement of Obama and televised spanking of McCain and Palin. Powell has always had the ability to formulate his sentences in a manner that is plain spoken yet leaves no question about what he said.

John McCain sucks and General Colin Powell knows it.

What will the McCain response will be? I think he can only respond in one way and that is to start tearing down Colin Powell.

So here is my question, how long will it take for someone to call General Colin Powell gay, a Muslim or a socialist?

Limbaugh has already called Powell a racist, so socialist can’t be too far away.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last Night's Presidential Debate

When McCain and Obama met last night, we were treated to one of the better debates in the campaign. Obama really let us know what he plans to do. Unfortunately, most of McCain's ire was directed against Obama where the issues were simply an after-thought. Below I've posted a video that better represents the distorations of McCain.

thanks to Kenneth in the (212) for the video

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Funny Comic

Click on the image to 'biggen' it.

Go here to read more of them. Mind you, they're sometimes confusing as all heck but I do get my daily dose of it through The Bilerico Project.

Is this Sick or What?!

(Bourbonnais, Illinois) An elementary school bus driver has been charged with leading a homophobic attack on a 10-year old student passenger.

The Kankakee Sheriff’s Police Department said that the boy was taunted by the driver who then encouraged other students to chase and beat the child.

Chief Deputy Ken McCabe said the incident occurred on a Bourbonnais Elementary School District bus which was returning students to their homes last Friday.

McCabe said the driver repeatedly called the boy “gay.”

”When the boy got off the bus, the driver encouraged several other students to go after him and tackle him. Our investigation shows that occurred,” McCabe told The Daily Journal.

He also said the driver is under investigation for joining the students in chasing the boy and grabbing him.

Bourbonnais School District officials would only say the driver has been terminated.

Russell A. Schmalz, 46, is charged with mob action, endangering the life of a child, and battery.

Post Turtle

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old Texas rancher, whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.

The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.'"

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.

The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle."

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain.

"You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Great Video: "I Love the Gays"

h/t to joe.my.god

Saturday, October 11, 2008

National Coming Out Day

Guess what today's is? Yup, my title post gave it away. Today is National Coming Out Day to encourage all lgbt folks to stand up and be counted. But, of course, such a decision is fraught with challenges. And, while coming out once is cool--honestly, if you're lgbt, you'll be doing it for the rest of your life...in conversations, when you book a hotel room, when you're at a dinner party, even when filling out forms and emergency card notifications. So, coming out is a life-long thing that begins with one conversation. Today is the day when all lgbt folks encourage you, if you haven't done so already, to tell someone that you're a fabulous man or woman who likes men and women.

Here is a great video clip I found on The Bilerico Project from last year's National Coming Out Day. It's a hoot.

Friday, October 10, 2008

24-month Dow Jones Chart

This is scary! Click on the picture to see it biggened.

h/t to joe.my.god

h/t to joe.my.god for this post.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Origins of Lady Liberty

Here is a rant from Patricia Nell Warren against Christianists concerning the Lady in the Harbor. I sure do love reading Ms. Warren. She doesn't mince words. h/t to the Bilerico Project for this post. And to think, I had no idea of the origins of who the lady was, the Statue of Liberty lady.


To the creators of that Republican campaign commercial that appropriates the Statue of Liberty -- I've got news for you. You're hawking the wrong symbol. In fact, you're stealing a symbol that actually shoots a big hole in all the fundamentalist churchy propaganda put out by your party during this election.

Liberty is a pagan goddess. Obviously you weren't paying attention in history class. It's spelled G-O-D-D-E-S-S. There's a test on this tomorrow.

The Goddess of Liberty isn't found in the Bible. (If you really studied the Bible, you'd know that.) She comes straight out of Greek and Roman pagan tradition, complete with that toga and sandals. Under the name Libertas, She appeared on Roman coins as an emblem of the emancipation of slaves. She often wore a liberty cap that the newly freed Roman was allowed to put on in a special ceremony at Her temple.

Devotion to Her was revived during the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment, when Europeans began to kick off the shackles of state Christianity. Finally Liberty made the leap to the Americas with colonists and founders who were educated in that classical tradition of government by republic. Her image was stamped on the very first coins minted by the new republic of the United States, along with the old liberty cap and our new national motto LIBERTY. And She was on our money for nearly two centuries. It took your Bible-believing friends nearly a century of lobbying to get the motto changed to "In God we Trust" (Act of Congress, 1865).

Next it took your Bible lobby nearly another century to to get that "heathen" (as the lobby called Her) removed from our coins entirely. It was done so stealthily that -- even as She became our national icon, with the Statue of Liberty going up in New York Harbor in 1886 -- the public didn't notice. She was off the cent by 1857, off the nickel by 1912, off the quarter by 1930. Wearing Her liberty cap, She was still on the dime till 1945. As the Walking Liberty, She was on the half dollar till 1947. How appropriate that She saw us through World War II and the victory over fascism. But our government was evidently not grateful to Her for the victory. After 1947 -- poof! She was gone.

Nations always put their most important symbols on their money. Nearly two centuries of a pagan goddess on our money is proof that the United States of America was not "founded under God." If it was -- if your Bible buddies had that kind of clout in 1776 -- our coins would have showcased Jesus from the start.

Yes, Liberty is a pagan. She keeps company with Isis, and Juno, and Tara, and White Buffalo Woman. She wasn't recommended in any Catholic encyclicals. She wasn't touted by Martin Luther, or Cotton Mather, or R. J. Rushdoony. Anywhere that the love of liberty finally awoke in the hearts of thinking Christians in Europe and the U.S., it was because they borrowed the idea of Her from the pagan ancients -- and they knew it was an idea whose time had come because they'd seen the abuses of non-thinking religion up close. Yet some fundamentalists today are eveb talking against Her statue in New York Harbor, calling it the "Whore of Babylon." One day, that magnificent monument to the most human side of our history -- immigrants who came here to find liberty -- may also be demolished.

In your ad, the book that the Statue carries in one arm is not the Bible. It's the pagan Book of Knowledge -- the schoolbook of thinking statespeople who were freeing themselves from coercive belief and enslaving government. The Latin word for book is liber. That's because the great minds of Greece and Rome had figured out that there is no emancipation without education. The torch She carries is another symbol of education. It takes data, not dogma, to shine into the darkness and make things clear for us.

Maybe that's why your party has let American education go to the dogs -- graduating more and more Americans who are ignorant enough to believe all the religious lies and propaganda that they're fed -- including the myth that "America was founded under God."

For us in the LGBT world, the Goddess of Liberty is a life-saving, sanity-saving symbol -- the ultimate icon. To come out, to be honest with ourselves about who we really are, we've had to educate ourselves, little by little. We've had to crack that Book of self-knowledge. We've had to shine that torch into the terrifying, fearful darkness of the closet where we spent so many years.

During LGBT History Month, we deal formally with the tons of old religious dreck that the conservative religion-mongers like you are still try to pile on us -- all the old corrosive, coercive, dark beliefs and misinformation about sexual orientation and gender identity that made each of us live in waking nightmares during childhood and youth in different religions -- that each of us had to leave behind and burst out into our own personal daylight..

It's too bad about you folks who created that campaign ad. You say you want to lead us, but you aren't even free yet.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The McCain Surprise

Here is a gut/fear/strategy that I am going to predict about the upcoming election. McCain will dump Palin (or she'll quit or whatever) and choose Huckabee or Romney at the last minute. And, I am thinking this has been planned all along. The Republicans will be so thrilled that there will be a massive and collective sigh as they hope for McCain's entrance into the White House.

Just you wait.

A Tribute: Paul Newman

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

In light of the recent economic woes, I offer this brief break. Here is Jason Castro (remember him from American Idol?). This is the studio version of the song he sang during the show.

This is the shorter version you may remember from American Idol.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Your Urgent Help Needed

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with
detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Priceless humor from Angry Bear and a h/t to Daily Dish

Hunting for Sermon Material

I am working on a sermon for this coming Sunday based on the lectionary readings of Philippians 2:1-13 and Matthew 21:23-32. The first reading from Philippians is a passage about having the attitude of Christ in our treatment of one another. The second reading contains a parable about two sons, one who did what he said he wouldn't do and the other who didn't do what he said he would. As I am trying to get my head and heart about these passages, I have jotted down some initial notes and reactions. This is what I have so far:

Having the proper attitude can be interpreted differently depending on who you ask and who is doing what needs to be done. Take Matthew’s text for example, there tax collectors and prostitutes acted more holy than the venerated priests and elders of the synagogues. Having the proper attitude also implies (according to Jesus) that the attitudes will motivate proper behavior. What particular attitudes accomplish this feat?

What are some ways we can be Christ-like? Can this be subjective?

What are some ways that are definitely NOT Christ-like?

Find some examples of ne’er-do-wells who did good things to the consternation of what others may have expected.

* * * *

So, I decided to Google the word 'ne'er do well' and see what I came up with. I found this gem on Urban Dictionary.com that made me laugh out loud. Mind you, it's very offensive and contains vulgarity. I doubt that'll worry anyone who reads this blog but in the event you can't even look at vulgarity, then don't follow the link there. However, if you don't care, maybe it'll be funny to you.

Anyways, so I have lots to think about this week and will begin writing my draft on Thursday. This is how I usually prepare for my sermons: I draft a sermon and lectionary prep 3-months in advance that selects the Scriptures for the particular Sunday. I then come up with a working sermon theme, and then, the week before the sermon is due, I begin to let the sermon ideas formulate and froth in my head. I am at the frothing stage now.

A Critique of the Madness

Here's a good post over on the Bilerico Project about the mass hysteria of our financial crisis on Wall Street.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has put forward a proposition to bail out the finance industry with a price tag at $700 billion.

The plan comes with near-dictatorial power granted to the executive branch, with a huge raid on the treasury with no means of paying for it, with a petulant demand of "Now, now, now!" coming from the Bush Administration, and with no plans for oversight (this time, actually, there's a specific ban on oversight written into the bill).

No plan for an end game, an endless blank check for private companies who have well-placed friends, and more power for the executive branch, all sold by typical Republican hysterics that the sky will fall if their bill isn't passed immediately... what does that remind us of? To me, it sounds a whole lot like the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), the bill that authorized the Iraq War. (read more)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Republican Re-Orientation

Here's a cheeky flash-card skit:

h/t Bilerico Project

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today Is My Birthday

So yeah, today I am 43 years old. I've not done anything today but lay around watching tv, napping, playing on the Xbox and surfing the web. Not doing anything on my birthday is such a treat.

While surfing on the net just now, I discovered something else cool about September 19. Today is International Talk like a Pirate Day. Here is a joke I just read about today:

Q. What is a pirate's favorite kind of music?

A. "Arrrrr and B."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hilarious SNL Skit

Perhaps you've seen this already but in the event you haven't, here is last week's SNL skit featuring a dialogue between Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

h/t to Towleroad

Christian Musician Comes Out

Wow, who'd've thunk it? Ray Boltz is gay.

I just love this song.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Scary Palin Interview

...in case you missed it. Follow the link for videos and transcripts.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is kinda painful to watch...

...it's the Backstreet Boys meets Jerry Falwell sorta thing. And, it's also kinda funny too. ;)

h/t to Religion in American History

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Town Called Dobson

I've started reading a new online comic as passed along through the Bilerico Project that I find hilarious. This is today's comic.

(You can click the picture to see a larger version of it.)

Go here to see other ones.

The Show that Changed my Life

This past Sunday, the long-running Broadway musical Rent, ended its 12-year, 5,124 performances, run. Of all the shows I've seen on Broadway, this was by far my favorite. The show has been rumored to be closing for quite some time...and each time, as the last show was scheduled, there was an extension. During one of its supposed closings, I wrote a post* about why I love the show so much. The love I have had for that show hasn't changed much and I still listen to the cast album on my iPod or watch the movie, that was made a few years ago about it.

Here is a song from the show. I hope you enjoy it.

(*Update: I forgot to include the link to my previous post although I had intended to do so but forgot to.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Conflict of Value

As most of those who know me know, I am a big fan of Open Source software. I love the idea of free software and esp enjoy that it'll always be free. Who wants to make huge software companies filthy rich off my dime. Besides the upgrade costs to maintain software can get expensive.

Along this thinking, I have installed OpenSource or free utilities on my home computer and laptop. I haven't done so at the church mainly because while OpenSource makes one feel like an Apple artsy/fartsy Matrix-like Neo, it does have its disadvantages. Some of those disadvantages can be troublesome to those who cannot finese their way through various menus or have compatability issues between OpenSource programs.

Mostly for me its a financial thing: buying really good software is expensive. And so, here is my challenge for today. Microsoft just released its new discount for students for its Office Ultiminate Suite, which has almost every product the offer for only $59. Normally the cost would be around $800!!

You know, Microsoft software, its Word, Outlook, Powerpoint, One Note, Publisher... all of it is really nice and workable. To stay with OpenSource stuff can be a pain because, well, it doesn't run as nice or as smooth. Simply put, Microsoft is better software.

Here's the deal, check it out and let me know what you think. Are you challenged by it too?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20/20 Segment on PDA

Being in an openly gay relationship as Jay and I are in, we are careful about how we display our affection--and certainly how we do so in public. Having both moved from NYC, we realize that attitudes are different in New Jersey. Although we live in a very progressive and liberal state, we are mindful that not everyone has the same values and 'live and let live' mentality as those in Manhattan.

So when we're out shopping, going to the movies, or walking Maggie, we're careful not to present ourselves in a way that might warrant negative or hostile reactions. Sure, I am confident that most in NJ are open-minded and peaceful. But it isn't the majority that worries us, but rather the minority of close-minded bigots that carry bats and guns in their pickup trucks. It can be frightening to think about such things so we don't think about it too much while remaining careful how much affection we display in public.

One time not long ago we were shopping at Wal-Mart. While not displaying any PDA, I am thinking we were talking in hushed tones, looking at items pondering whether to buy one thing or another. Such aside displays of affection did not go unnoticed. While checking out, the man behind the register said to us in hushed tones himself, "You two are family, right?" By this he meant that he too was gay but was keeping things on the 'down low'. I supposed to those who are looking, they can see. To those who aren't, perhaps they don't see.

A while back, 20/20 did a television segment on Public Displays of Affection between straight, gay men, and lesbians. All were actors being videoed by the film crews at 20/20. Below is the segment aired on 20/20. You may be surprised at the woman who called 911 upon seeing two men kiss on a park bench. But then, maybe you won't be. Still, it's an interesting video and worth all the conversation about public displays of affection.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Forgetting an Email Attachment

Lifehacker.com has a great post today about adding a script to your Outlook email program (this won't work if you use Outlook Express) or Gmail account. The script looks for words in an email you've typed to include words like "attach" or "attachment" and then checks to see if you actually attached anything to your email. If you forgot to do so (and how many times have you forgotten to attach something only to say "Oops!" in your next email and attach there what you intended to attach before), it'll ask you.

Go here for the Outlook script and directions on how to use it. Go here for the Gmail script and how to use it.

I just did the Outlook script and it was soooooo easy to do.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Poem

by William Ernest Henley.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank what ever gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

I found this poem after reading a Facebook entry about a young man who died today after being beaten up in an anti-gay attack in England. Go here to read the story. Go here to see the Facebook page.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

It's In.... FINALLY!

The new Ikea catalog is in stores. Go here to see some buzz about what's in the new catalog.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Amazing! And fun to watch.

Here is the making of this commercial.

h/t to Daily Dish.

Great Doorbell

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New JibJab: Time for Some Campaignin'

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Freemason Funeral Rite

I just returned from officiating at a funeral of a church member. The funeral was held at a local funeral home. Following my church service, we had the opportunity to experience a Freemason Funeral Rite. I have never seen anything like it.

To be honest, when I was a kid, I was a member of the DeMolay. DeMolay is a young Mason organization where its rituals were based on Mason teaching--just geared for teenagers ages 13-18. I had a nice time participating in the organization. As an adult, I've had a couple of opportunities to become a Mason but just haven't pursued it with any vigor. Just a few months ago, I was asked to become a Mason. Again, I declined but was curious just the same.

Tonight's rite was an interesting presentation. Twelve Masons arrived and stood semi-circle at the front of the hall and in front of the casket. The lead Mason with a fancy necklace recited what was an obviously memorized eulogy--and it went on for about 15 minutes. It was rather impressive. The rite began with the recital of the 23rd Psalm (which coincidentally was the same Psalm I used in the service). The rite ended with the placement on the deceased of an apron and a fanned arrangement of what looked like minature palms, and a prayer.

The man who died was a lifelong electrician, union member, and high degreed Mason. He had many friends and was greatly loved. What I gathered from the Mason experience was that many of his electrician buddies were also Masons--it was a fraternity of like-minded guys who exercised their civic duties within the organization.

It was all pretty interesting...although not interesting enough to pursue membership. ;)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Watching the Defectives

A post over at Joe.My.God has to be one of the best gay Pride posts I have read in a long time. I am going to copy and paste it below. Please read it. I am sure you'll be glad you did.

Watching The Defectives

Last Sunday, at 12:30pm, I was in position on Christopher Street with Terrence, his glamour boys, and touring UK bloggers Dave and Darren. The Pride parade was due to round the corner any minute, but I tore off in search of a bodega, crossing my fingers that my desperate need for a soda wouldn't cause me to miss Dykes On Bikes. Half a block away, I found a little place and ducked in, weaving thru the customers clogging the aisles on rushed missions like mine. I was third in line, two bottles of Sprite under my arm, when the man in front of me spotted a friend entering the store.

"David! Sweetie! Where are you watching from? Come hang out with us on Allen's balcony!"

David, a bookish looking middle-aged man, destroyed the festive mood in the little store in an instant. "Absolutely not. Those defectives and freaks?" he spat, indicating the colorful crowd outside the store, "They have nothing to do with MY life, thank you very much. This parade has as much dignity as a carnival freak show. It's no wonder the whole country hates us."

Luckily for David, the Asshole Killer mind ray I've been working on is not yet operational. I settled for pushing him a little, just a tiny bit, just to get by him in that narrow aisle, of course. I returned to my sweaty little group and tried to put what I'd heard out of my mind for the remainder of the day, because I knew that by the next morning, the thousands of Davids of the world, the ones who have media access anyway, would all issue their now familiar day-after-Pride rant. The one where they decry the drag queens on all those newspaper front pages. The one where they beat their chests and lament, "Why don't the papers ever show the NORMAL gay people? Where are the bankers and lawyers? Why must all the coverage be drag queens and leather freaks in assless chaps?"

And every year, the logical answer is that bankers and lawyers are boring to look at and that pictures of marching Gap employees don't sell newspapers. There's no sinister media agenda intent on making gay people look ridiculous, no fag-hating cabal behind the annual front page explosion of sequins and feathers. It's just good copy. Drag queens are interesting. Even the bad ones. Especially the bad ones.

Yet right on cue, the day after Pride, the Davids of the blogosphere dished out their heavy-handed dissections of parades around the country. Only this year, there was a palpably nastier tone to an already traditionally nasty annual debate. Blame the election, blame the recent avalanche of anti-gay legislation, but this year, the usual assimilationist arguments went beyond the hypothetical speculations that maybe our Pride parades were too outlandish, that maybe we weren't doing the movement any favors by showing the country a face that happened to be wearing 6-inch long false eyelashes. This year there was some actual discussion about HOW we were going to "fix" Pride parades. Of how we might go about "discouraging" certain "elements" from taking part in the parades.

This is the part of the story where I have my annual post-Pride apoplectic attack. This is the part of the story where the swelling volume of Nazi analogies overwhelm my ability to speak and all I can do is twitch and bark out little nonsensical bits. This is where I always forget the name given to the Jews who went to work for the Nazis, helping load the trains. "Because that's what you are asking us to do, you assholes!" Then I always ask, "Who are we going to sacrifice to 'save' ourselves? Which child will it be, Sophie?" And this is the part of the story where my friends accuse me of being a hyperbole-laden drama queen, wasting spiritual energy on a non-crisis, and of co-opting the Holocaust as well. More on that later.

These people that want to "fix" Pride don't understand the role that Pride parades have come to play. Initially, the gay parade was about visibility. It was about safety in numbers, and more importantly, "normalcy" in numbers. It was about the idea that if only straight America could see us, could just SEE US, that they'd love us. And accept us. That if we'd mass and march by the righteous millions, the sheer unstoppable force of our collective image would topple bigotry. Would right wrongs. Would stop hate.

Of course, that didn't happen then and it doesn't happen now.

What DOES happen, is that Pride parades, at least in the big cities, have become nothing more significant to straight America than an annual traffic nightmare. As a tool of the gay movement, the Pride parade is now merely a walking photo op for politicians and perhaps not much more. A couple of years ago, the ultimate arbiter of America's cultural zeitgeist, The Simpsons, made note of this:

(The gay pride parade is going past the Simpson house.)

Chanting marchers: "We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!"

Lisa Simpson: "You're here every year. We ARE used to it."

What does all of this mean to the Davids of the world, the gay assimilationists that want to, wish they could, somebody do something, there's gotta be a way we can, Dignify This Parade? The ones begging: "Can't we get our people to at least DRESS respectfully for one lousy day? Is that too much to ask of our people? "

Yes, yes it is.

Because you are kidding yourself if you think Pride parades, in any form, will EVER change the minds of homophobes. The straight people who show up to see Pride parades are already largely convinced. We're parading to the choir, Jesse. Those straight people love our freaks, bless them.

Oh, you could test run a "defective" free parade. You could form urban anti-tranny squads and go around to all the gayborhoods on the morning of the parade and give all the drag queens 50% off coupons for Loehmann's, offer good during the parade only. And they'd GO, of course, cuz hey, those girls love a bargain. But the resultant bland, humorless, "normal" gay parade wouldn't change the course of the gay movement one bit. The part of straight America that is repulsed by drag queens is quite possibly even more terrified by the so-called "normal" gays, because "those clever calculating creatures look JUST LIKE US, and can infiltrate and get access to our precious children. And that's been their disgusting plan all along, of course."

So where does that leave us? Are we post-Pride? Is the parade just a colossally long waste of a miserably hot summer day? Is the Pride parade just an event that does a better job of moving chicken-on-a-stick than it does of moving hearts? I'd say that, yes, as an effective tool of the gay movement, Pride's usefulness has largely waned in many U.S. cities. So do we even need to keep having these parades, since they no longer seem to have much of an impact on the state of the movement? No, we don't.

But...YES, WE DO.

Because even if Pride doesn't change many minds in the outside world, it's our PARTY, darlings. It's our Christmas, our New Year's, our Carnival. It's the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other "Happy Pride!" Saying "Happy Pride!" is really just a shorter, easier way of saying "Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Way to go for not taking a rifle into a tower and taking out half the town! Well done, being YOURSELF!"

I'm not worried what the outside world thinks about the drag queens, the topless bulldaggers, or the nearly naked leatherfolk. It's OUR party, bitches. If you think that straight America would finally pull its homokinder to its star-spangled bosom once we put down that glitter gun, then you are seriously deluding yourself. Next year, if one of the Christian camera crews that show up to film our "debauched" celebrations happen to train their cameras on you, stop dancing. And start PRANCING.

All you suburban, lawn mowing, corpo-droid homos out there, hiding behind your picket fences, the ones wringing your hands and worrying that Pride ruins YOUR personal rep, listen up. Do you think that straight Americans worry that Mardi Gras damages international perception of American culture? America, land of the free, home of "Show Us Your Tits!"? They don't and neither should we. Our Pride celebrations are just our own unique version of Mardi Gras, only instead of throwing beads, we throw shade. No one has to ask US to show our tits. We've already got 'em out there, baby. And some of them are real.

A co-worker of mine heard me discussing my Pride plans last weekend and said, "I really don't understand what it is you are proud about. I mean, you all say that you are born that way, so it's not like you accomplished anything." She wasn't being mean, just genuinely curious, and I think that a lot of gay people probably feel the same way. On this subject, I can only speak for myself.

I'm proud because I'm a middle-aged gay man who has more dead friends than living ones and yet I'm not completely insane. I've lived through a personal Holocaust (here we go again) in which my friends and lovers have been mowed down as thoroughly and randomly as the S.S guards moved down the line of Jews. You, dead. You, to the factory. And you, you, you, and you, dead. I am inexplicably alive and I am proud that I keep the memories of my friends alive. I am proud of my people, the ACT-UPers, the Quilt makers, the Larry Kramers, the Harvey Fiersteins. I'm proud that I'm not constantly curled up into a ball on my bed, clutching photo albums and sobbing. And that happens sometimes, believe it.

And outside of my personal experiences, I am proud of my tribe as a group. Sometimes I think that gay people are more creative, more empathic, more intuitive, more generous, and more selfless than anybody else on the planet. Sometimes I think that if an alien culture were surveying our planet from light years away, they might classify gay people as an entirely separate species of humans. It's easy to spot us because of our better haircuts.

But sometimes I think we are the worst people in the entire world when it comes to standing up for each other. The gay people who'd like to soothe their personal image problems by selectively culling some of our children from Pride events? They disgust me. They appall me. They embarrass me. To them I say: the very road that YOU now have the privilege of swaggering upon was paved by those very queens and leather freaks that you complain about,as you practice your "masculine" and give us butch face. If you want to live in the house that THEY BUILT, you better act like you fucking know it. United we stand, you snide bitches. America's kulturkampf ain't gonna be solved by making flamboyant people go away.

I'll end this by making one final Jewish reference. Possibly you've heard the Jewish in-joke that sums up the meaning of all Jewish holidays? "They tried to kill us. We won. Let's eat." My Pride version?

They wish we were invisible.

We're not.

Let's dance.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Simply Fascinating

Did you know that your cell phone can help you unlock your car (in the event you lock your keys in you car?

"Locked your keys in the car and the spare is at home or with a friend? Call that person on their cell phone with your cell phone, then hold your phone about a foot from your car door. Have your buddy press the unlock button holding it near the cell phone on their end. Your car will unlock, no matter how far away your buddy is. Beats waiting for AAA."

Go here to see the other 4 things you probably didn't know your cell phone could do.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Confusing Christianity

Here is a great video about how confusing our Christianity sounds to many others.

h/t Creatio Ex Nihilo

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

Understanding Crystal Meth

I found a post written over on Joe.My.God about NYC's Crystal Meth problem. It's been a problem for such a long time that discussing it has become a non-issue. When that happens, unfortunately, some people assume that since everyone's not talking about it anymore, it's not a problem anymore. And the thing is, it's still a HUGE problem.

Several years ago, I ran into a colleague of mine that told me about his Crystal Meth addiction and how it had destroyed his ministry and career. While I thought that was shocking, his next statement blew me over: "The weird thing about it is, even though its destroyed my career and my health, and even though I have been clean for about two weeks, I want to do it and will do it by week's end. I just miss it so much."

I am not a drug user, so there is something about drug use that I have a hard time getting my mind around. Why do something so dangerous? One of my past problems in not understanding Crystal Meth was that there was a significant detail that I was missing: the correlation between being HIV positive and Crystal Meth use. It seems that most Crystal Meth addicts in NYC who are gay men, are also HIV positive.

That colleague I told you about is HIV positive and I hadn't made the connection between that and Crytal meth until now, today. That colleague had told me that the dangers of using the drug severely affects one's HIV. He had said that while he only had HIV for about a year, once he started using the drug, within 6 months of using, he had developed full-blown AIDS. Usually that takes 20 years--but not on Crystal Meth.

Check out this video below. Hopefully if you know someone who is both HIV+ and uses Crystal Meth, you'll find a growing sense of compassion for your friend, even if you believe it's insane to actually use Crystal Meth. I believe one goal of my faith is to be filled with compassion as I go about doing good. For only a compassionate heart can bring the right balm to those who suffer--and upon doing so, bring less judgment and condemnation on those we are called to serve.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Olbermann on Clinton's "Assassination' Remark

There has been a lot of discussion around me concerning Hillary's 'Assassination remark' that hit the blogs this past week. I've heard many folks say it was a mistake or a comment taken out of context. And for all I've heard, I just can't believe it--although I want to. I want to believe that no one, especially a Clinton, would mindfully imply she is staying in the race in case Obama is assassinated, which is what happened to Robert Kennedy in June 1968. And yet, for all of Hillary's mis-spoken comments, just throwing something like that 'out there' makes me wonder to what extent she'll willing to go in order to win this campaign.

We all know that Obama has had to tighten his security amid constant death threats. Is she playing on that fear? Is she counting on folks thinking, "If I vote for him, I'm wasting my vote because he'll surely get assassinated."

You know, her use of fear and tragic 'what-ifs' is something Karl Rove did for George Bush. Bush frightened an entire country with threats of terrorism and "activist judges". And Rove led him all the way. Say, wait-a-minute, she's actually consulting Rove now, right?

Then her comments really shouldn't surprise me...they simply anger me!

Watch Olbermann's rant. He has the newsprint, commentary, and the outrage I feel towards her and her remarks.