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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"Death was only part of the devastation along the Gulf Coast. There were also the hunger, the thirst and the homelessness. The casinos that employ thousands of people in the area were badly damaged. Officials had limited fuel, telephone service and manpower, no working bathrooms and little more to cling to than a promise of help on the way. Widespread looting was reported, and the police, attending to life-threatening situations, Mr. Creel said, could do little to respond.

Peter Teahen, a spokesman for the American Red Cross, said supplies were en route from staging areas in Birmingham, Ala., and Houston. "We can't tell you when food is going to be served," Mr. Teahen said. "We're hoping to do it, ideally, in the next couple of days."

Things Change

“You have lost too much, but you have not lost everything. And you have certainly not lost America, for we will stand with you for as many tomorrows as it takes.”
---------------------------------President Clinton’s Oklahoma City Speech.

"As the jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis once said: "You know, I don't think New Orleans is ever going to change, because I don't think in the scheme of things, it's supposed to change."

That sentiment will be tested now as never before, but Mr. Marc Morial [former mayor and head of the Urban League] said he was confident the city could rebuild and recover.

"I've heard from so many people and everyone says the same thing," he said. "First they say, 'How's your mom? Is she O.K.?' Then they say, 'We've got to do something to help.' A lot of people have lost everything they own, but there's a great spirit, a zeal, to clean up and to rebuild." -- New York Times

Me? I believe I’m a caterpillar buried deep down under the ground. The entire earth is above me, crushing me and I begin to bore through the soil, making a passage to the surface so that I can penetrate the crust and issue into the light. It’s hard work boring through the entire earth, but I am able to be patient because I have a strong premonition that as soon as I do issue into the light I shall become a butterfly.

-- Nikos Kazantzakis' Biography of Francis if Assisi

1-800-HELP NOW

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Di, Mommie, Die!

There are so many things to overlook while watching All My Children these days, for example, like all these people with deep roots in the Appalachians, i.e. people who might have been considered hillbillies at least in their youth, have nary the hint of a southern accent even among themselves. Di/Dixie has a slight one. Opal and Krystal seem to be the only ones true to form. Perhaps they should turn on the TV and give a listen to Blair on One Life to Live.

The newcomer, Mr. Musser as Del Henry held his own with Canary and Knight all the same, but the much anticipated approach/avoidance dance with nephew JR Chandler (Jacob Young) did not live up to expectations. Perhaps it leaves something to look forward to. Most of us should consider ourselves lucky that we do not own mansions in Pine Valley or Llanview. What use is all that money with people bursting in left and right at any given moment? Unless of course, the burster is Uncle Del in the person of Alec Musser.

One must also overlook how young Mama Dixie/Di looks in comparison to her son, not to mention Uncle Del. As a matter of fact Cady McClain the actress most closely associated with Dixie and rumoured to be returning is only ten years older than Jacob Young. Next door in Llanview is probably where stretching the imagination as far as age is concerned originated. Erika Slezak would have been about 17 when TV Son Dan Gauthier was born and would have been 34 when TV grandson Matthew Metzger was born. Rapidly aging the children on Soap Operas puts everything into a time warp not to mention playing fast and furious with credulity. Kelli Giddish who is playing Di who is pretending to be Dixie following extensive plastic surgery is in real life one year younger than TV son Jacob Young.

O to be the show’s casting director! O to have the opportunity to cast Charles Busch as Di Kirby/Dixie Cooney Martin! ‘Twould be brillig to have a character be both pseudo-Mama Dixie and Uncle Del at the same time and actually be age appropriate. Perhaps it is too late. All My Children’s camp days seem to be well behind it try as Mr. Knight may.


There is absolutely no camp value in Ryan’s plots these days. Forget that Cameron Mathison could do voice-overs with that voice. He would do well to get cast in a children’s animated series. Either that or go to Lauren Bacall’s voice coach. It has been mentioned here that the death and rebirth of characters like Jonathan has been done to death, so to speak, so as to take all the fun out of it, in addition the holes in the Lavery Family Plot are enormous. As a former Soap Opera magazine scribe pointed out today a brain tumor would not have caused the turmoil that was Jonathan and his family. Even a sister would not have sympathy for that behaviour and how could she not burst into laughter at her cartoonlike older brother?


Jamie and Amanda are hardly worth mentioning. Will somebody please mention that Jamie’s parents are quite well to do and Aunt Phoebe’s money doesn’t amount to a hill o’ beans as Pete Cooney et al. might have said in Pigeon Hollow.


Over at General Hospital the character of Lucas slated to be gay as discussed on these pages is being recast with Drake Hogestyn’s son, Ben. At first glance on Soapnet it seemed as if Drake himself had been cast in the role. Talk about age inappropriate casting! It seemed as if Drake’s plots to break up Marlena and John might have worked.

Ryan Carnes’ role, some have opined, has been expanded on Desperate Housewives. Others are of the opinion that Ryan Carnes’ Burgeoning career made him the higher priced spread. Like butter. Rock on, Ryan.


As Google may show you, the Josh usually associated with All My Children is the delightful Josh Duhamel. However, these days it is the character who deflowered Danielle – a pivotal character involved with Erica Kane and the son of fertility doctor played by Ian Buchanan. The casting director who gave us all the age mayhem cited above has recast the role with Colin Egglesfield who is most easy on the eyes and would have no problem deflowering any number of people. Viewers will be at least grateful for that. The current Josh played by Scott Kinworthy will morph into Egglesfield after September 15 a mere two months after his debut.

Casting directors these days are being pulled in all sorts of directions as evidenced by Mr. Metzger being cast as Duke Buchanan on One Life to Live because Brian Frons’ wife thought it would be a good idea.

A mere month after his debut this blind item appeared in the Soap Opera press:

This front-burner soap newcomer got a little too friendly with a same-sex producer after a party, causing some tension and awkward moments on the set the week after.

Without spilling too many details there are a couple of opinions that believe that Scott Kinworthy may have been fired for reasons other than the storyline’s. The question is: was Kinworthy's behaviour inappropriate or was Kinworthy’s orientation too apparent?

Come out, come out wherever you are – Mr. Kinworthy is not necessarily the respondent here.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina’s ravages afford us the opportunity to attempt understanding what is most important. In these pages you’ve found the praises of men, music, women and other musings about the world as experienced by the columnistas. It’s serious, thoughtful, fun and occasionally angry. There has been considerable effort to encourage the creative processes not only from the subjective but also in the objective.

Whether or not John McBain beds Natalie Vega pales in comparison to what is happening in the real world.

It helps to reflect on the time when the Christian World went careening toward Capitalism and The Holy Crusades during the 12th and 13th centuries. A voice went out and upward to call humanity toward a more humane and simple direction.

Giovanni Bernardone, the son of a merchant and one time soldier/knight experienced metanoia, a change of heart. Many would call it conversion. His message encompassed simplicity as a virtue, working for daily bread, and celebrating nature as a manifestation of the divine. His mother was French, although he was born in Italy and he became known as Francesco. He kissed lepers. He went to speak to Moslems and although he did not convert them, the experience blessed all involved. His original followers were simple brothers who wandered throughout Central Italy celebrating everyday life.

The gods and nature cannot be understood in a positive way when phenomena like Katrina occur. Francis of Assisi had his finger on something. His ideals, however, much like New Orleans and Biloxi in the wake of a huge hurricane were almost immediately overwhelmed by burgeoning Capitalism and a Church not true to its ideals. The news today that something like 30% of Nola’s population lives below the poverty level brought to mind a very important and effective individual like Bernardone in these days of war and turmoil.

People not affected by storms or metanoia will continue to get goofily passionate over whether it’s John and Evangeline or John and Natalie – Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Many will go back to their daily innocuous pleasures like the ones found on these pages.

Many will take at least a moment for reflection. Many will donate to the Red Cross. Some will actually come to appreciate what life holds for them right now.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Montelongo2: Shoulders from Here to Next Week

If being blessed means that one is articulate and talented with shoulders from here to next week then Matthew Montelongo is indeed blessed. One is hard pressed to see or find a negative review of his recent work. One would be hard pressed to hear a negative review of him as a person.

When he appeared in Rough Magic, David Cameron said, “Matthew Montelongo gets stuck with delivering a lot of plot as Caliban, and performs almost the entire show half-naked or covered with grotesque make-up. But he gives his character soul, and delivers an emotional performance.” In Black Milk it was said, “Matthew Montelongo's rubber face and rapid-fire delivery keep the laughs tumbling out” He is now slated to appear in the aforementioned production of Take Me Out.

The play written by Richard Greenberg has this storyline:
A baseball star causes a public furor when he publicly acknowledges his homosexuality. He causes less discomfort in the locker room and showers than might be expected until the team hits a slump and brings up a new player from the minor leagues. The new arrival is just what the team needed on the field, but has a streak of bigotry that emerges in a press conference, tearing asunder the worlds of the newly outed star, the entire team and baseball itself.
The production at the Repertory Theater in St. Louis is directed by Rob Ruggiero. The cast includes: Tim Altmeyer, Shawn T. Andrew, Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, Michael Balsley, Nat DeWolf, Ikuma Issac, Jorge Oliver, Jake Schneider, Jose "JJ" Perez, Tony Hoty.

As far as Mr. Montelongo’s experience goes:

He has appeared in numerous New York productions, including the recent Five Flights at Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre. He worked with director Joe Mantello on The Mineola Twins at the Roundabout Theatre Company, where he also appeared in Roger Rees’ production of Arms and the Man. Montelongo performed in Tartuffe at the New York Shakespeare Festival, under the direction of Mark Brokaw. His work has been seen in regional productions from New England to Seattle that includes The Glass Menagerie (Delaware Theatre Company), Richard II (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Beyond Therapy (Old Globe Theatre) and The Shaughraun(Seattle Repertory Theatre). In addition to his powerful performance opposite Holly Twyford in Far Away, he has also been seen at The Studio Theatre in Founding Artistic Director Joy Zinoman’s production of Far East and even more recently in Black Milk at Washington D.C.’s Studio Theatre, The Sweepers at Capital Repertory Theatre; and Don’t Dress for Dinner at the Hangar Theatre, and Most recently Rough Magic there. Montelongo’s television credits include All My Children and One Life to Live. Matthew has an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington’s Professional Actor Training Program

Matthew Montelongo

It's a Whole New Ballgame

OFF-RAMP AT THE GRANDEL THEATRE: The New York Empires locker room will never be the same after a charismatic young baseball star at the top of his game casually reveals a personal truth: he's gay. The announcement throws a major league curve ball into the middle of a perfect season and sends a ripple effect through the entire team, the media, the nation and one shy business manager who can't tell an earned run from an earnings tax.

Richard Greenberg's multiply-honored Take Me Out is a joyous tribute to baseball that celebrates the glory of the game, and the men who love—or learn to love—America's pastime. It's the first of three St. Louis premieres in The Rep's new Off-Ramp series at The Grandel Theatre September 21–October 9, 2005.

» Production information, performance schedule and special programs
» Internet pre-sale August 26–29.
» General ticket sales begin August 29. Call (314) 968-4925 to charge by phone.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Kanye West

Now that we've got your attention. Mr. West will be at Tower Records Lincoln Center come Tuesday to sign copies of his new release. What makes that new release interesting among so many other reasons is the presence of Gil Scott-Heron's "Home Is Where the Hatred Is." Gil Scott-Heron has been called the father of rap and he is the natural reference for all hip-hop artists. He has disclaimed any credit for the rap movement.

Scott-Heron's Pieces of A Man was one of those works that appealed to a baby boomer's post adolescent angst within both cosms: the micro and the macro. If a boomer happened to belong to a class that had no business experiencing angst, Scott-Heron was a perfectly safe introduction to it. What follows is Vince Aletti's Rolling Stone review of this neglected masterpiece. Scott-Heron, like many of his peers, did not have a fondness for homosexuals. Aletti addresses that. It is an attitude that many young, black man past and present have armed themselves with for many reasons. It was interesting to dance to Scott-Heron and Jackson's "The Bottle" in gay clubs back in the day. It is hoped and more than likely that Scott-Heron's own attitude has changed. Pieces is also a psychological profile as is much artistic endeavour and it makes it very easy to see why Scott-Heron went there. Nevertheless the album will always be "involving and important."

Pieces of A Man
Gil Scott-Heron Label: Flying Dutchman FD-10143

Here is an album that needs discovering. It’s strong, deeply soulful and possessed of that rare and wonderful quality in this time of hollow, obligatory “relevance” – intelligence. Gil Scott-Heron’s first album, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, was released almost two years ago when its author/composer was 21. Like the Last Poets’ work, Small Talk was predominantly conga backed poetry but it lacked the energy and flash of the Poets, and after I heard “The Subject Was Faggots,” I didn’t play it again.

[It’s strange to me how black intelligent enough about ‘oppression’ can turn around and slap that same oppression on ‘faggots’ and laugh about it – like the little kid who kicks a dog because he has nowhere else he can safely turn his anger.]

I would have forgotten Scott-Heron his passed-on oppression and his weak poetry were it not for three cuts on which he sang rather than read. His singing voice was firm and mellow without any of the self consciously hip “attitude” that affected his readings; and his songs had a strength that only intermittently sparked in his poems. Scott-Heron was clearly a better songwriter than poet and, in spite of a terribly ragged production, and interesting, even moving singer.

Happily, with the exception of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” the best poem on Small Talk included here in a more fully orchestrated version, Pieces of A Man is an album of fine songs. Because most of the accompaniment by an excellent assemblage of musicians here calling themselves Pretty Purdie and the Playboys. (Bernard Purdie on drums, Ron Carter, an astounding bass man, Burt Jones on guitar; Hubert Laws, flute and sax; and Brian Jackson, Scott-Heron’s collaborator, on piano} is in a jazz style, the songs have a loose, unanchored quality that sets them apart from both RnB and Rock work. Scott-Heron sings straight out with an ache in his voice that conveys pain, bitterness and tenderness with equal grace and, in most cases, subtlety. Frequently the nature of the jazz backing is so free that the vocals take on an independent, almost a cappella feeling which Scott-Heron carries off surprisingly well.

But what is most surprising about the album, especially after an exposure to the awkwardly fashionable poses of his poetry, is Scott-Heron’s assurance and directness as a songwriter. There are occasional lines that seem to have slipped out of youthful poetry into mature songs (“Why should I subscribe to this world’s madness?”) and the long final cut , “The Prisoner” tends to get bogged won in its own heaviness. But generally the material is tough and real, “relevant” while avoiding, on the one hand empty cliché and , on the other fierce rhetoric, its own kind of cliché.

“Pieces of A Man” the album’s best song, describes in several short, almost cinematic scenes a man’s breakdown as witnessed by his son: “I saw him go to pieces.” Scott-Heron sings with measured sadness, as if stunned, and at the same time gets across the sense of hurt, anger and incomprehension in the character (if it is one) … he has assumed. He sings: “I saw the thunder and heard the lightning/and felt the burden of his shame/ and for some unknown reason/he never turned my way.”

Pieces of A Man has been out for some six months now [1971] with little or no critical notice. But apparently through word of mouth and some airplay on those rare progressive black FM stations, it has become one of the label’s best selling albums. It deserves to be. It may not be easy to find, but it’s an involving, important album (especially so because of its successful and accessible use of jazz) and it’s worth looking for.

-- Vince Aletti in Rolling Stone

P.S. Not to be missed is Esther Philips' recording of "Home Is Where the Hatred Is."
If you want goose bumps, go dig it up. -- Giano

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Save The Children
Lady Day And John Coltrane
Home Is Where The Hatred Is
When You Are Who You Are
I Think I'll Call It Morning
Pieces Of A Man
The Sign Of The Ages Morning
Or Down You Fall
The Needle's Eye
The Prisoner

Food for Mind, Body and Soul

To know Anna Teresa Callen is to love her. Perhaps that is why many people do their best to attend her cooking classes. Another reason is that she has written one of the best culinary reads regarding Italian regional cooking, Food and Memories of Abruzzo. A native of Guardiagrele in the Province of Chieti (Vitacolonna is her maiden name) her approach and method is a combination of tradition, straightforwardness and freshness in every sense of the word.

A member of the James Beard Institute, she is nevertheless very accessible. Her teaching is much like her tome in that it is accompanied by anecdotes that enhance the cooking experience.

Her residence has been New York City for the last four decades. Although a bona fide gourmand Anna Teresa has come there via World War II, Italian Beauty Pageants, the Cinema, Romantic Playwrights, Television, Eccentric Cats, Radio, Hollywood and the following favourite recipe:

Pollo Alla Canzanese

[Chicken Canzano Style – 8 servings]

2 small chickens, about 3 pounds each cut into 6 to 8 serving pieces
1 tbsp of kosher salt
2 sage leaves
4 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
12 whole cloves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
24 black peppercorns, crushed
1 small diavoletto [“little devil”] –dried hot red pepper
two ¼ thick slices of prosciutto, diced
¾ cup dry red wine
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley

1. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and cover with cold water and let stand for 20-30 minutes.
2. Rinse the chicken and place in a skillet into which the pieces can fit in one flat layer. Add the sage, bay leaves, garlic, cloves, rosemary, peppercorns, red pepper, prosciutto and wine.
3. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring once or twice, until the chicken is almost tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the lid from the skillet and cook until the sauce is reduced and the chicken starts to colour. If necessary add more wine or a little water. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

To inquire about classes or have a seminar, call 212.929.5640

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

From the Nashville Scene this week: "Nashville musician Max Vague was found dead of an apparent suicide at the base of the Natchez Trace's Highway 96 bridge in Williamson County shortly after midnight on Aug. 13. Few details were available at press time. Vague had recently been featured on Double D Records' A Tribute To Elliott Smith."

Max's family has contacted Rev. Keith A. Gordon to announce that a memorial service for Max will be held on Sunday, August 28th from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at The Basement on 8th Avenue in Nashville. The club is located beneath Grimey's Music and many thanks to Mike Grimes for offering the use of The Basement for the memorial. Fans and fellow musicians are encouraged to attend and remember Max Vague and his music. Over the course of 12 years or so in Nashville, Max Vague recorded and independently released five albums of brilliant music (he brought his first album, LOVE IN A 1,000 FACES with him from LA when he moved to Nashville). A talented musician, producer, songwriter and producer, his vision and talent will be missed.

Over the course of 12 years or so in Nashville, Max Vague recorded and independently released five albums of brilliant music (he brought his first album, LOVE IN A 1,000 FACES with him from LA when he moved to Nashville). A talented musician, producer, songwriter and producer, his vision and talent will be missed.

For those unfamiliar with Max’s work, a free CD in MP3 format is available for downloading from his web site. COLLECTED draws material from all six of Vague’s albums and is a fine representation of his work, a combination of classic pop and hard rock with progressive elements. At this time, his family plans on leaving the web site online for Max’s fans. Max had completed work on his seventh album at the time of his death ... Rev. Keith A. Gordon

Friday, August 26, 2005

Tuc Watkins: Reprise

When Tuc Watkins was filming I Think I Do he told the director that he was basing the interpretation of his character, Sterling, a gay Soap actor on a Soap diva with whom he had worked. True to form, of course, Mr. Watkins would not say precisely who she was. Mr. Watkins was the standout actor in the comedic film.

In the current issue of Soap Opera Weekly, he speaks of the three grandes dames of daytime drama from the two shows on which he has appeared and continues to appear. He has learned something different from each: (1) Erika Slezak: “I learned how to find my light. I learned not to ask too many questions … There’s just not enough time to go into things the way you would like … I learned to economize …” (2) Leslie Charleson: “I learned how to apologize after they said, ‘Cut.’” His character was thoroughly evil. (3) Robin Strasser: “…I learned to be playful and to take chances.”

Watkins is completely mum about his private life in the article and emphasizes that actors should just be actors.

As an actor, Watkins can not be praised enough for rising above what he has been given. Handsome is as handsome does.

Still, one can only wonder where lies the inspiration for Sterling.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Extreme Unction

Perhaps the allegedly Reverend Mr. Robertson's current sorry state is a product of his and Alfred E's pursuit of the holy oil possessed by the duly elected and well loved Mr. Chavez' homeland.

Or maybe it just shows how much of a problem with the truth the so called holy man has. Bernice is just beside herself -- as she can often be, literally, but that's too difficult to explain.

Bernice says, "Mr. Robertson's followers would do well to pay little attention to what he says as opposed to what he does, er no ... wait, would do well to pay attention to somebody else, or no, wait ... not do as he says but as he ... or perhaps would just do well to pay attention not at all and just fall asleep watching reruns of Just Shoot Me ... or, at the very least convert to another religion."

Thank you, Datalounge

Ahh, the good ol' days
by kos

Wed Aug 17th, 2005 at 11:47:32 PDT

Quotes from when Clinton committed troops to Bosnia:

"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Funny thing is, we won that war ... Nobody died.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Welcome Home, Del

It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing these days on Soap Operas or how far down the demographics go. There is a bright spot or two for diehard fans. Of course, the writing and production values are all over the place. Of course, outlandish plots still exist as if to beef up the viewing population which it doesn’t.

The acting on All My Children made the suspension of belief easier to bear during the Di/Dixie story. How both Adam, Jr and Thaddeus Martin bought Di as Dixie hook, line and sinker is beyond belief, yet these two actors are so good at their craft the viewer went into no man’s land with them.

There is now another man there in the form of Dixie’s half brother Del Henry. It was a decade or so ago when he was in Pine Valley last and thoroughly enjoyed by the afternoon drinkers at Philadelphia’s Bike Stop under the guidance of the late Matt Hoffmann. Then it was Winsor Harman getting all the attention. Now Del Henry’s character is inhabited by a worthy heir and winner of [gasp] the realty series on Soapnet, Alec Musser.

Mr. Musser more than holds his own with Michael E. Knight as Tad. Some diehard fans are looking forward to future scenes with the equally intense Jacob Young.

Column of Life’s webmaster has risen to the occasion and humbly germinated a website in the worthy Mr. Musser’s honour. You'll find the link in the column to the right.

From one isle to another

HOT COP On Broadway?

It could happen. And we do mean "Law & Order's" hunk deluxe Christopher Meloni.

Meloni summered at Ireland's Gate Theater, playing Eddie in Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge." His reviews were excellent - The Irish Times called him "the real thing . a tremendously forceful presence with all the confidence fame brings and none of the self-indulgence."

So now Meloni has been approached to reprise his triumph on the Great White Way. Such an endeavor would have to work around his "L&O" duties, but he is ready, willing and more than able. We have our fingers crossed.

And maybe someday Meloni and his gorgeous co-star, Mariska Hargitay, will perform onstage in a comedy? I ran into Chris and Mariska a while back at an awards ceremony. They were hilarious together. I think such a pairing would be a smash. Fans want to see Chris and Mariska! The crime-fighting duo told TV Guide recently that "people want us together (on "L&O") so bad!" But Meloni said the show would never "jump the shark" in that way. Never say never Chris. I'm sure Elisabeth Rohm, who played the assistant district attorney on "L&O" for several seasons, never thought her final line in the series would be, "Is it because I'm a lesbian?"

Liz Smith August 24/05

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tower Lincoln Center Any Wednesday

Catherine Dupuis
This gifted, elegant jazz singer celebrates her third album, RULES OF THE ROAD, giving warm wonderful intrepretations to a group of jazz and cabaret standards.

On Wednesday August 24, 2005 at 6PM

That's a fine Howdy Doo...

Our Manhattan correspondent and pundit, the effervescent Bernice Clifton assures us that when the Rev. Pat Robertson had his own children’s television show about 50 years ago that although his head bobbed around even back then he never buffaloed anyone. He certainly did not encourage murder. His kindness and good behaviour were as clear as a bell. He would never flub or dub anything Summer Fall Winter Spring. He also seemed much more intelligent then. “All that bluster, Mister!” she declared to him, "Was better left to your brother Alfred E. Newman. After all he’s the Commander in Chief!”

Brian Wilson: Generous Genius

Former Beach Boy Brian Wilson is currently on tour, performing about two dozen Beach Boys hits during concerts. In addition to showstoppers such as "California Girls," "Good Vibrations," and "I Get Around," Wilson also performs his recently completed Smile album in its entirety. So far, on every night of the tour, Wilson has also been tipping his hat to his musical mentor, legendary "Wall Of Sound" record producer Phil Spector, by performing Spector's 1963 hit for the Crystals' "Then He Kissed Me" -- which Wilson sings as "Then I Kissed Her." Wilson performs tonight (August 23rd) in Milwaukee at the Pabst Theater. His tour wraps up September 4th in Los Angeles.

Wilson told New York magazine that listening to Spector's work with groups such as the Ronettes and the Crystals made him realize that the possibilities while recording three-minute singles was endless, explaining that, "When I heard Phil Spector's productions, I realized, 'A-ha! I see -- you can use echoes on the drums, and you can combine three guitars together to get one sound, add pianos to that, and you can get one big wall of sound!'" Wilson added: "Spector influenced me, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and Motown -- quite a lot of people."

Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, who produced several of the group's late '70s albums, told us that he picked up the subtleties of record production from watching good friends Brian Wilson and Phil Spector work in the studio: "They were fine-tuning their talent and I happened to be around it. Just like Sonny Bono was around Spector all the time, y'know you pay attention."

Brian Wilson produced the Beach Boys' cover of "Then I Kissed Her," from their 1965 Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!!) album.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Right On, Ryan

... General Hospital's Lucas — the adopted son of nurse Bobbie Spencer and Dr. Tony Jones — is about to come out. Yes, really! Per the new issue of TV Guide magazine, Lucas' nosy roommate Dillon will soon suss out the hunky teen's sexual orientation. Coincidentally, Lucas' portrayer Ryan Carnes also plays gay gardener Justin on ABC's night-time sudser Desperate Housewives.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

God Is Love

Andy Towle does a fine blog and it is worth visiting often. The BLOG has kept abreast not only of Brokeback but of many important issues. Recently Towleroad pointed out Penzey’s need for support from those in the know and Column would like to lend its support to the cause.

Penzey is a spice company that has shown support for the family pictured here in our mini-collage by featuring them in their company’s new periodical. They are receiving flack from the persistent demon of so-called Christianity. Let them know that we can banish demons with the best of them:


Better yet, let’s go to our local Supermarkets and ask them if they are carrying the company’s products and request them if not.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Six Feet Under Six Feet Under

More than a few people who worked with Alan Ball knew exactly the basis for Lester Burnham’s place of employment in American Beauty even before knowing who wrote the screenplay. There seems to be something within Mr. Ball that speaks to the human experience and knows how to frame it for all to see. American Beauty had that quality and the tragedy that was Lester Burnham’s life and death had an American familiarity. Six feet Under and the selfish yet ultimately sympathetic Nate Fisher, a fictional kindred spirit to Mr. Burnham, took us a to a dark side showing us that it is exactly on the dark side where we live if not necessarily where we die.

Linda Stasi in today’s New York Post tells us this:

“…So it was with great curiosity and not a little bit of anxiety that I screened the the final Six Feet Under … let me say right up front that somehow Alan Ball … found a way to push the envelope so far … speechless and breathless … more shocking than how they end the show is that Alan Ball thought of it in the first place … this show goes where no TV show has ever gone before. Ever.”

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Of Course, It Was Him

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

For Ms Cindy Sheehan

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bart Greenberg says unequivocally that Lisa Asher has a strong and devoted following. Tomorrow evening at Tower Records Lincoln Center 6PM, Lisa will show all why she is worthy of said following. She has a disc that she will sign for all of those in attendance:

Lisa Asher
Live At the Duplex
( Dancing Bull Music )

“I have very eclectic music tastes, Lisa Asher says midway through her 2004 show at The Duplex, admitting musical influences from her youth that range from Bobby Goldsboro to Barbra Streisand to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. And she certainly travels the musical gamut in this 70-minute grab bag. But it doesn’t matter whether she’s narrating Michael Smith’s hilarious The Princess and the Frog, turning sultry-confessional on Son of a Preacher Man or floating through a time-shifting mix of Ten Minutes Ago/Do I Love You?, Asher couldn’t be more on-target or more enjoyably engaging. And with the quality of this live recording, that is no easy feat. Sounding like someone plopped a mic down haphazardly in the audience, often the audience sounds are clearer than Ashe’s performance. But don’t let that deter you. This listener almost fell victim to such a flight, but if an exit had been made, one of the most enjoyable live performance ever captured would have been missed. Enjoyable? Heck, this is an absolute gem. Wildly comic and wrenchingly honest (has there ever been a more brilliant take on Craig Carnelia’s Just a Housewife than Asher’s stunning conversational-sung mix? No. Period.), Asher and her great backup musicians (musical director-arranger Jeff Waxman on piano, Marco Brehm on bass and Bob Green on fiddle, guitar and mandolin) demonstrate to perfection just what the “art” of cabaret is all about. And for lovers of the genre and those who practice it as well, Live at The Duplex is required listening. Period."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Oh, Mary! When we assume ...

Perhaps the best thing about being part of the Apostolic tradition is that it at least allows for a simulation of goddess worship if not actually accepting it, which on some levels it is. The last time a Pope used the power ex cathedra, i.e. infallibility was in 1950 to declare the doctrine of The Assumption and this date is observed worldwide by the world’s Roman Catholics as a holy day of obligation.

Papa Pacelli [Pius XII] proclaimed 55 years ago:

“Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.”

Connecting Mary to the ancient tradition of the Goddess is one of the easiest things to do for those in the know. It would take up a lot of time and space to do so here, but we’ll touch on it. At least we’ll connect this feast to Diana. Ferragosto in Italy which is celebrated this day – the ides of August – is the essential Summer Holiday. The major urban centers there virtually close down for the entire month of August – what a very civilized thing to do! It is ostensibly in honour of the Mother of God. Italy is ostensibly a Roman Catholic nation, yet this celebration goes deeper and farther than mere Xtian observance.

“In 18 BC the Roman Emperor Augustus declared that all of the month of August would be dedicated to the Feriae Augusti, a series of festivals and celebrations; the most important was held on the 13th, and was dedicated to Diana, the Goddess whose task it was to oversee the woods, the phases of the Moon, and Maternity. The services, which were celebrated in Diana's temple on the Aventine, was one of the few occasions in which Romans from all walks of life, masters and slaves alike, mingled freely, and the women, who made offerings to the Goddess throughout the year in the hope that their labor would be safe and happy, offered prayers to Lucina, the guise Diana assumed when she was acting as protectoress of Labor.”

“Aventine Hill, Diana's temple still had an ancient image that depicted her as a many-breasted mother of nature--similar to Diana of Ephesus. Women flocked to her temple at Aventine Hill to request aid in child bearing … Diana is complex and rich indeed: she was known as Diana Trivia: Diana on the earth, Luna in the sky, and Proserpine in the underworld. At her shrine at Nemi, near Aricia, she formed another trinity with her servant and assistant midwife, Egeria the water nymph, and Virbius, a woodland God. One of her epithets was Diana Nemorisis or Diana of the Grove. Diana's feast day … was deemed to be the birthday of the Goddess. Reportedly women would each bake a cake for the household in Diana's honor, around which white candles were set. A procession of women, with hounds on leashes, would journey to Aricia to offer thanks in Diana's sacred grove and request the Goddess's continued aid and a harvest free of storms. Diana's festival in mid August was a holiday for Roman slaves. Whole villages [in modern Italy] participate or watch the procession in which the image of the Virgin is carried through the streets.”

Gay women, (yay, liberated women universally) follow Diana as their mother and protector. The first John Paul, Papa Luciani, declared that we must not only think of God as our Father but also as our Mother. His papacy lasted only 34 days. Assume, good people, assume.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hackett for the Senate

Gingrich Says Ohio Race Holds Lesson for GOP

By Dan Balz and Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 4, 2005

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) warned fellow Republicans yesterday not to ignore the implications of the party's narrow victory in Tuesday's special election in Ohio, saying the public mood heading into next year's midterm elections appears to helping Democrats and hurting Republicans.

"It should serve as a wake-up call to Republicans, and I certainly take it very seriously in analyzing how the public mood evidences itself," Gingrich said. "Who is willing to show up and vote is different than who answers a public opinion poll. Clearly, there's a pretty strong signal for Republicans thinking about 2006 that they need to do some very serious planning and not just assume that everything is going to be automatically okay."

Gingrich's reaction came after Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and vocal critic of President Bush's Iraq policy, came within 4,000 votes of upsetting Republican Jean Schmidt in the solidly GOP 2nd Congressional District in southwestern Ohio.

Schmidt and Hackett competed to fill a vacancy created when Rep. Rob Portman (R) resigned to become U.S. trade representative. Schmidt had won a contentious Republican primary and was heavily favored in a district that has been in GOP hands for nearly four decades. Bush won the district with 64 percent of the vote in November.

Republican apathy, dissatisfaction with Bush and congressional Republicans, a GOP scandal in Ohio, and Hackett's energetic, anti-Iraq campaign all may have contributed to keep the race closer than expected, according to strategists in both parties.

Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, acknowledged that the outcome fell far short of the party's desire, as expressed by Forti over the weekend, to bury Hackett in retaliation for attacking Bush. "We did not" bury Hackett, he said. "But it was a victory nonetheless."

GOP officials in Washington said the race carried no significant implications for the 2006 elections. They noted that special elections are often poor predictors of election trends and said they saw nothing to suggest real unhappiness with Bush or the GOP congressional leadership.

Jason Mauk, political director for the Ohio Republican Party, said: "To the extent that voters in that district were sending a message to the Republican Party at the state or national level, we have heard that message and we will continue to listen to their concerns."

Mauk said the economy, national security and a scandal that has touched Gov. Bob Taft and other Ohio Republicans may have contributed to the narrower-than-expected outcome. "There does seem to be a sour mood among the electorate at both the state and national level," he said.

Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin said the GOP should be nervous about next year's elections, given the gap between Bush's support last November and Schmidt's on Tuesday.

"We got a lot of warnings in '93 and '94 that voters were unhappy and dying to send a message," he said, recalling when Democrats lost control of the House and the Senate in 1994. "What happened in Ohio is very consistent with what we're seeing around the country."

Gingrich, the architect of the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994, cited evidence that voter unrest is fueling Democratic hopes.

"There is more energy today on the anti-Iraq, anti-gas-price, anti-changing-Social Security and I think anti-Washington [side]," he said. "I think the combination of those four are all redounding to weaken Republicans and help Democrats. . . . I don't think this is time to panic, but I think it's time to think. If we don't think now, then next September [2006], people will panic when it's too late."

Some Democrats said the outcome spells trouble for Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), who is up for reelection next year, but the party has not yet found a serious challenger.

In his campaign, Hackett used television ads to emphasize his service in Iraq, including images of Bush speaking about the value of military service, while in interviews with the news media he hammered the president and the war. His words against Bush and the war produced strong grass-roots support, and yesterday liberal bloggers said they helped raise $500,000 for Hackett, the bulk of his $750,000 campaign funds.

"We raised a ton of money for Hackett," said Bob Brigham of the Swing State Project site (http://www.swingstateproject.com), who served as "coordinator of the liberal blogosphere" for the Hackett campaign.

Brigham criticized the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for not giving Hackett early financial support. "They came in late, and it makes them look irrelevant in everyone's eyes," he said.

DCCC Executive Director John Lapp issued a statement defending the committee. Saying the DCCC would like to fund every House race, he said: "Resources are not infinite. That is why MyDD, the Daily Kos, and the larger blogosphere are so important. You are critical in the effort to expand the playing field well above and beyond the 30 or 40 districts typically in play."

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Casey for Senator

Most here, however, were all atwitter about Senator Santorum’s troubles in Pennsylvania. None other than the banished snitch and confidante of Karl Rove, Robert Novak reports today that ‘Forrest Gump with an Attitude’ is ‘falling.’

Republican Insiders in Washington fear that Sen. Rick Santorum … is in serious danger of losing his seat next year to … Bob Casey, because of a poorly planned and ill-conceived campaign.

Grievances by Pennsylvania Republicans are piling up. One banking industry CEO in Pennsylvania offered Santorum a chance to visit his more than 3,000 employees. But the senator’s campaign staff declined ... explaining this group was not a “priority.” Santorum is accused if not making sure to minimize the negative political fall out from his new book … A current Republican Poll shows Casey 9 percentage points ahead of Santorum.

Well, perhaps one should wait until those eggs hatch into beautiful non-reactionary chickens – but for the moment it is soothing to know that Santorum’s chickens are coming home to roost.

Matt LeBlanc's tool

Usually she is lifting her skirt in response to sensory stimulation if not fooling with an electrical appliance or two or off singing somewhere in a Downtown Club’s ladies room if not getting overheated about her favourite actor, Christopher Meloni, whom she actually believes is Helen Keller’s brother [that’s too long a story] or singing “Our Day Will Come” to Eamonn Walker but lately our favourite correspondent, Ms. Bernice Clifton, was all atwitter about Matt LeBlanc’s tool. She is often lost in the jungles of double entendre. Being given the benefit of the doubt as usual because it can lead down an interesting if not very accurate path, it turns out that Mr. LeBlanc’s situation comedy is being re-tooled and will include Miguel A. Nunez, Jr as Joey’s friend and fellow actor.

Along with Lisa Kudrow, LeBlanc was a saving grace of Friends’ final years and many people were looking forward to Joey and hoped for continued success. Well, no need to rehash old, bad news. The good news in this situation is that NBC is taking time to fix something that is broken instead of throwing it away and that the unemployed actor population will not increase.

The other good news is that the Production Team at Joey is adding some ‘flava.’ Why wasn’t it there in the first place? Well, no surprise, it was many years before LeBlanc’s prior employers did the same. Here’s hoping that Miguel A. Nunez, Jr will be something that Bernice will be singing about in the future.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Tommie Young

Do You Still Feel the Same Way?

Sometimes a neglected masterpiece gets dusted off:

Tommie Young’s debut album exemplifies brilliantly producer Bobby Patterson’s ability to tap every conceivable soul style under the Southern sun. But despite a finely crafted collection of Strickland-Patterson compositions the real star of this enterprise is Young herself. Gifted with a vibrant, supple, gospel strength voice, Young almost naturally evokes Aretha six years ago [this is being written in 1973]. Confronted with such obvious talent, Patterson has responded with 11 industrious cops, based on appropriate models. Some tunes recall Aretha in Muscle Shoals, several others Betty Wright in Miami. The result? A great pseudo-Aretha hit single {“Do You Still Feel the Same way?”} and some spiffy pseudo-Wright {“You Can Only Do Wrong So Long”} All of this stuff gets energized by Young’s faultless vocal ability: She has the skill as well as taste to interpret the right sources with genuine feeling. This record seems a paragon of consistency: not one obvious reject in the pack of 11 songs: An impressive (if totally derivative) tour de force.

--- Jim Miller in Rolling Stone

What a joy to discover this great album reissued. It was among the unheralded of the marvelous crop of the classic female RnB in the early 70s: Denise LaSalle, Laura Lee, and Ann Peebles to name some of the heralded. Ms. Young’s career was too brief at least in the secular world. She went back to Church.

She left behind this wonderful gem of an album that is what it is: a true slice of classic rhythm and blues. Two other impressive cuts are “Hit N Run Lover” and the impeccable pseudo-spiritual “Everybody’s Got A Little Devil in Their Soul.”


The current buzz of contemporary music at the stores is the international duo of Amadou and Mariam which is a truly joyful experience. More about this soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What's all this I hear ...

From the New York Times today [really]:

To the Editor:

Now I've heard it all: Mick Jagger sitting in judgment of Condoleeza Rice, describing her as a "hypocrite" in a new song with the catchy title "Sweet Neo Con."
Mr. Jagger is a force of nature in the rock world, but for foreign policy assessment, I think I'll stick with the concert pianist with the foreign policy background and the sterling record in the State Department -- if it's all the same to you, Mick.

Maggie McGirr
Greenwich, Connecticut
August 10, 2005

Never mind ...

Also in today's Times:

The Rolling Stones Enter Political Fray

Mick Jagger is giving the White House a bit of lip. Treading political terrain covered already by artists including Eminem, Green Day and Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones' new album includes a song railing against well-connected contractors and the war on terrorism. In the song, "Sweet Neo Con," Mr. Jagger sings, "How come you're so wrong / My sweet neo con? / Where's the money gone / In the Pentagon?" according to lyrics provided by a band representative. The rock band, still one of the most successful touring attractions in the business, has touched on political themes before, in such classics as "Street Fighting Man." But the new song, which also references Halliburton, the energy-services company that employed Dick Cheney before he became vice president, comes at a time when the nation's sharp political divisions have left the recording industry uncertain about how to handle sensitive topics. The Rolling Stones may not find out how fans respond to "Sweet Neo Con," from their forthcoming "A Bigger Bang" album, unless they perform it on tour. Virgin Records, the Stones' label, is not promoting the song to radio stations. The N.F.L. plans to broadcast some of a taped Stones' concert in the pregame show before the New England Patriots take on the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 8, but it will not be selecting "Sweet Neo Con," said to Brian McCarthy of the N.F.L. "We're not asking them to throw passes or discuss politics," Mr. McCarthy said. "We can draw from an extensive list of songs." Fran Curtis, a spokeswoman for the band, said, "People can disagree and still be friends." JEFF LEEDS

From "Outside the Beltway"

The Rolling Stones are taking aim at elements of the American right with a new song on their upcoming album. The track, "Sweet Neo Con," boasts the line, "You call yourself a Christian, I call you a hypocrite/You call yourself a patriot, well I think you're full of ..." Newsweek reports.

"It is direct," Mick Jagger was quoted as saying, adding that bandmate Keith Richards was "a bit worried" about a backlash because the guitarist lives in the United States and Jagger does not.

The song also includes the line: "It's liberty for all, democracy's our style/Unless you are against us, then it's prison without trial." "It is certainly very critical of certain policies of the [Bush] administration, but so what! Lots of people are critical," Jagger told TV's "Extra" on Wednesday.

"Sweet Neo Con" is one of 16 tracks featured on the Stones' new album, "A Bigger Bang," which drops in the United States on Sept. 6.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tab Hunter: The Making Of A Movie Star

From 365gay.com

Unless you're an old B movie fan, or over 50, you may not know who Tab Hunter is. But, a generation ago he was one of the hottest male stars in Hollywood - and the handsome blonde sent gaydar into overdrive.

He was the boy next door. The stuff dreams are made of. When he took off his shirt in Island of Desire fans went wild and Warner Bros. saw green. Eager to cash in, the studio cast him in Battle Cry and again he stole the show when he doffed his shirt.

But, like most gay stars of his era (and today), Hunter was in the closet. That all came to an end in 1955 when scandal magazine Confidential outed him. His career was in tatters.

Now, Hunter has penned his autobiography. It's a no nonsense account of how a gay actor handled the '50s. And, yes, he names names.

Algonquin Books isn't releasing it until fall, and already there is a buzz in the air. My guess is a movie bio will follow - the story is far too good not to make it to the silver screen.

Hunter was born Arthur Gelien in New York City in 1931. His parents split when he was a child. Mom took Arthur and his brother to San Francisco.

There he discovered the movies - a welcome escape from reality. San Francisco was also where he discovered men as a young teen.

At 15, Gelien lied about his age to join the Coast Guard, buffed his bod, and while on leave in New York had a fling with a "a wealthy older man."

Hunter writes that he wasn't about to become "boy toy".

When he got out of the service he headed west hoping to use his looks to launch a career in the movies.

He found an agent, who gave him the name Tab Hunter, packaged him , and sold to the American public.

Hunter tells us how it felt to appear on-screen, off-screen, and on every newsstand in America with the biggest leading ladies of the day--Linda Darnell, Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds, Lana Turner, and Rita Hayworth-- while dealing with the reality of being gay in a time when the word didn't exist.

After Confidential outed him Warners created a "beard" hoping for damage control. The "beard" was Natalie Wood.

Hunter writes day after the public dates with Wood he would rush to the bed of actor Tony Perkins.

Eventually, Perkins afraid of being outed himself, broke off the relationship, Hunter says.

By the early 1960s Hunter was scrambling for parts. He appeared in films starring Soupy Sales and went overseas to shoot spaghetti westerns.

But, in the early 80s his career was reborn when he co-starred with Divine in John Water's Polyester and again in Lust in the Dust. The films introduced Hunter to a new generation and turned him into a gay icon.

Today, Hunter lives happily out with partner Allan Glaser. It was Glaser who suggested that he write his memoirs after press reports that an unauthorized biography was in the works.

The Making Of A Movie Star is a story of survival. It tells how he kept his bearings when he was suddenly no longer the boy-next-door heartthrob, no longer under the protective wing of the Warner Bros. publicity department, no longer in demand as a "star."

It is his story of how he soldiered on--with perseverance, determination, and faith. And, like the best-loved Hollywood movies, it has a happy ending.


Photos on Column Of Life
(use your back button to return here)

Tab Hunter Official Site

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Indulge Yourself

Tony DeSare is performing Wednesday evening at Tower Lincoln Center's Any Wednesday mini-cabaret at 6PM. It is in reality his second performance there, because he was the pianist for Ms. Bobbie Eakes' performance. This time he returns on his own and those in attendance will be all the more entertained.

The contemporary music scene has a few talented young men who indulge us in new interpretations of standards. Tony's talent has a maturity that belies his youth.

"We've Got A World that Swings" was also interpreted by Jerry Lewis in the original Nutty Professor. It was surprisingly satisfying then and Tony gives it new life and enhances it for here and now. The album is on Telarc and is entitled, Want You.


A Real Indulgence

Tuc Watkins: Poetry in Motion

Sometimes God[s] can bless you walking to work. There is nothing better than to see one of their manifestations in all its glory. Tuc Watkins is one of those glories. It is highly recommended to view his tall and shapely self walking on the other side of the street in the opposite direction. There are few more masculine figures, i.e. broad shoulders – from here to next week as a matter of fact -- narrow hips and a dignified stride.

Tuc currently blesses the public by being on One Life to Live as David Vickers as one of the best ad libbers in the business. He is clever as well as handsome. In the past he has given memorable performances in The Mummy, Beggars and Choosers, Six Feet Under and on Family Law in a noteworthy turn as a gay father. He has a great website well worth a visit. It is held on good authority that he is kind, generous and unpretentious.

A real indulgence. A beautiful man. Divine Glory on a New York street.


It seems that the allegedly learned Papa Ratzinger has reverted to the downright silly practice of granting indulgences.


“The Handbook of Indulgences states that a plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who perform the works listed ... This means the full remission of all temporal punishment (time spent in purgatory) due to sin in one's entire lifetime up to that point”

The NY Times tells us that the full indulgence goes to those in attendance at the Pope's so called World Youth Day but that those who engage in fervent prayer instead will only receive a partial indulgence. This may only be useful if one dies soon enough to take advantage of the ‘time off’ from Purgatory. Reactionary Catholics are very creative. Not only do the faithful have to deal with the concepts of Heaven and Hell and eternal damnation but there is also the dogma of temporal punishment for ‘little sins” or those of venial as opposed to mortal nature.
Ratzinger perhaps has failed to remember that it was all of this nonsense that started Martin Luther on his journey to the Reformation and the resulting religious strife that plagues the world to this day.

It is one thing to be reactionary and dogmatic. ‘Tis quite another to be irrevocably silly. Dear God[s], save us from redemption.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Praise the Lord ...

Cindy Sheehan’s presence in Crawford, Texas puts much about Iraq into its proper perspective. A mother’s loss intensifies the pain and the futility of war. No need to bear in mind the old adage about parents surviving their offspring.

Mamma Sheehan’s question to Mr. Bush need only be repeated even nonverbally to know the truth immediately. Mr. Bush is more than likely not going to respond. Perhaps he can't handle the truth. "Rest assured,” he said, “that your loved ones died for a noble cause." Mamma Sheehan wants to know just exactly what the noble cause is. It is universal truth that good mothers are fierce in the protection of their progeny. They are ferocious in their love. That is her noble cause. God did not take her son, Mr. Bush and his so called noble cause did.


In the meantime ... pass the ammunition:

“We now must move forward keeping in mind that while we lost we must rest up and fight the next race. We must realize that our opponents have learned from us and that next time it won’t be as 'easy.' That means we have to start looking ahead now and organizing now.”

-- Paul Hackett, defeated Congressional candidate in Ohio’s most recent election

“Last week, Democrat Paul Hackett, a political newcomer and Iraqi combat veteran, came within 4,600 votes of winning an Ohio special election in a heavily Republican district. Republican operatives laughed about how easily they could defend this district until Ohio voters shocked them and sent a clear signal of what 2006 holds.”
-- John Kerry’s most recent newsletter

So, Ohio Democrats, how about running Mr. Hackett in next year’s Senate race against Mr. Dewine?

Also, from Mr. Kerry’s newsletter
• Rick Santorum -- the poster boy for the most extreme elements of the Bush agenda -- was a featured speaker at the GOP meeting. Senator Santorum is trailing Bob Casey, his Democratic opponent, and may be the most vulnerable Republican in the country.

Perhaps it is time to put Forrest Gump with an attitude in his place.
Those who are angry may not be enamoured of the Democratic Party, but it presents the best opportunity to let those who have manipulated events and facts know that it is time for them to go.
(By the way, why hasn’t anyone come up with the idea that it is Mr. Bush who may have broken the law in providing the Press via Mr. Rove with classified information?)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Judge Roberts and the Romer Case

From none other than Matt Drudge, who has been the object of much speculation:

"We don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever... Oh, yeah...we know he's argued cases before the supreme court. big deal; so has Larry Flynt's attorney."

So declares conservative columnist Ann Coulter in a new dispatch set for release.

Air America Radio via Randi Rhodes declared that Coulter in reality does not care about many conservative issues. It’s a good guess that she doesn’t. It may also be a close guess that in regard to many issues Geo. W. Bush in his heart of hearts is very similar.

The New York Times very recently, i.e. in Friday’s issue, declared that Mr. Bush’s nominee to replace Justice O’Connor gave guidance on a high court case protecting gay men and lesbians from state-sanctioned discrimination. Mr. Bush even before he became President has publicly been against gay rights, especially same sex marriage rights, yet it seems that there has been a dance around this issue from the get go, which gives credence to the idea that he may very well be pandering to the neo-con religious right, and it is exactly that which Ms. Coulter does according to Ms. Rhodes of Air America Radio. Ms. Coulter’s hypocrisy notwithstanding, the specter of Mr. Bush’s similar approach casts doubt on his credentials as a downright neo-conservative Xtian. It is a possibility that might make his positions downright opportunistic. Esther Kaplan in With God on Their Side made this point in the chapter, “Whose Gay Agenda?” Assuredly there is much more within Mr. Bush’s governance to criticize and disassemble than his approach to homosexual rights, but the two sided approach should definitely be considered by the public who support Mr. Bush and those who do not. It may be exactly how he approaches everything.

There is no incompatibility with traditional conservative thinking and homosexual rights per se, because traditional conservatism upholds individual freedoms and federal government non-interference. Traditonal conservatism upholds the separation of Church and State. Traditional conservatism does not care if someone has an abortion, it just doesn’t want to pay for it.

Towleroad, a favored BLOG in these parts has something to say about the issue of Judge Roberts’ neo-conservative credentials.

It just may be that he is a rational, logical jurist with the mind of a lawyer, meaning that he lives his professional life divorced from his Roman Catholic Religion and perhaps his political affiliation – a true successor to Ms. O’Day who served her term as a rational, logical jurist.

It is important to see who on the conservative side is not 100% supportive. Of course there is the aforementioned Ms. Coulter's opinion which paints Mr. Roberts in a somewhat positive hue. Perhaps Mr. Roberts is not a neo-con opportunist. He may after all be a rational conservative jurist. Honest.

The New York Times gave us this:

While some conservatives … said they were unconcerned [about Roberts’ involvement in the Romer case] others signaled that the report had at least raised questions in their eyes.

James C. Dobson chairman of the evangelical group Focus on the Family said Judge Roberts’ work in the case was ‘not welcome news to those of us who advocate for traditional values.’ …

Colleen Parro executive director of the Republican National Coalition for Life and one of the few conservatives to raise questions about Judeg Roberts said his work on the case was ‘cause for more caution and less optimism’ about his nomination.

Light a candle and do not curse the darkness.