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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Televisionista: Brothers & Sisters

ABC's Brothers and Sisters has begun casting the role of Todd McAllister, Senator McAllister's (Rob Lowe) younger gay brother who will be Kevin Walker's (Matthew Rhys) significant romantic interest in the upcoming episodes.

The script describes Todd as a baby-faced man in his late 30s, charmingly rumpled and wry.

Kevin's sister Kitty (Calista Flockhart) who has already learned about Todd in an earlier episode, meets him at the Senator's office and tries to set him up with her brother Kevin.

Todd will be introduced in episode #19 and Kevin's current boyfriend Chad (Jason Lewis) is supposed to make his final appearance on the show in episode #18. Both episodes are supposed to air in April.

If you have been following spoilers for the drama you may have read that Kevin and Chad's relationship will hit the rocks once bloggers get hold of their intimate pictures and Chad's career of a soap star is in jeopardy.

Thanks to Kong Chang of LukeMacFarlaneFans website for the scoop.

More Mark

This came over the web today and Datalounge was buzzing about it:

Mark Wahlberg is glad filmmaker Ang Lee passed over him when he cast Brokeback Mountain, because the Oscar nominee was "a little creeped out" at the prospect of having to play a gay cowboy. The Departed star reveals he and pal Joaquin Phoenix were originally considered for the roles of Ennis Del Mar and Jack twist in the 2005 film - but both felt uncomfortable about sex act scenes in a tent. Wahlberg explains, "I met with Ang Lee on that movie, I read 15 pages of the script and got a little creeped out. It was very graphic, descriptive - the spitting on the hand, getting ready to do the thing. "I told Ang Lee, 'I like you, you're a talented guy, if you want to talk about it more...' Thankfully, he didn't." The parts eventually went to Jake Gyllenhaaal and Heath Ledger and, though Wahlberg feels it's a film he must see, he has yet to watch Brokeback Mountain. He adds, "I didn't rush to see Brokeback, it's just not my deal... Obviously, it was done in taste -look how it was received."

28/02/2007 03:50

Well, it's safe to say that many an ostensibly heterosexual male might have reacted the same way and there probably was a period in Wahlberg's life when he might have become violent regarding the suggestion. Those who know his history are angry about this revelation. More than likely Ang Lee thought better of casting him because he was too old to play it. Many are very happy that Heath Ledger became Ennis Del Mar in an interpretation that stays with the viewer well after having seen it.

It has taken a while for Wahlberg to get there and the time is yet to come when that kind of sensitivity will be his. He is still the same actor discussed in yesterday's post and the above statement is not as hurtful as it seems. It should not be required that every man embrace the notion of anal intercourse. It might be better for Mark and anyone else on the same page to remember that heterosexuals perform creepy sexual acts, anal intercourse among them.

Wahlberg will become an even greater actor when he starts to focus on the less creepy aspects of life.

He's still accomplished much. If he needs help accomplishing more, there are more than a few gay male fans who would be willing to help.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Tuesday De-Briefing: Mr. Wahlberg

The seemingly invincible Mark Wahlberg did not win the award he richly deserved last night, but he most assuredly contributed to the top honour accorded the film he was part of. Mark did the briefing as a transition into respectability. Who'd have known? It seems that powerful de-briefing happens when some effort is put into it and when some muscle backs it up.

Okay, Wahlberg can back it up. It matters when a working class boy makes it out of the working class by getting back to his roots so to speak -- see the scan we lifted from Rolling Stone.

We like the muscle that Mark has always exhibited and can't wait for the next exhibition.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Brothers & Sisters: Televisionista II

All hell breaks loose on ABC's Brothers & Sisters when bloggers attack. When a compromising image of resident hunk Kevin Walker and his hot lover Chad (Jason Lewis) hits the Internet Kevin threatens to file a lawsuit.

Chad's manager Donnie will meet Kevin to discuss his intentions with Chad and warn the hot-blooded lawyer about the consequences if his client come out.

The drama that begs to differ will therefore tap into the entertainment industry's forbidden territory - the Hollywood closet.

Former star of HBO's Sex and the City, who recently appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show to talk about his new role, leads a much more relaxed lifestyle. The actor was photographed last night enjoying the Armani pre-Oscar bash.

Televisionista does one of the best BLOGs for television viewing. Check it out.

Brothers & Sisters: Televisionista I

Housewives lead-out series Brothers & Sisters (which is rumored to be moving to Tuesdays at 10pm next season replacing Boston Legal) will also repeat a very special episode in March.

The two-parter "Mistakes Were Made" airs March 11 and 18 and flashes back to September 11. The flashback features Tom Skerritt as the Walker family's deceased patriarch William and Rob Lowe makes his first appearance as Senator McAllister.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Song Of the Week: La Springfield

It is Dusty Springfield who is posthumously selling those diamonds in an ad spot. She recorded the song in 1970. What resurfaced in 1994 and what was remixed for public release was the tenth take. Ever the perfectionist, it took her a while before she was happy with the results. In this case it took 24 years.

Speaking of perfection, we raided Exercise For Men Only's March issue. It seems the only reason it's kept in the men's section as opposed to the alternative life style section, is the full page ad on the back page with the girl snapping her bra strap, something that might appeal to the late great Dusty Springfield, but, hazarding an educated guess not the readership of the magazine. Gratitude is in order for the shots here. One does wonder who does get to share the rest of their lives.

What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life

(Alan Bergman / Marilyn Bergman / Michel Legrand)

What are you doing the rest of your life?
North and south and east and west of your life
I have only one request of your life
That you spend it all with me

All the seasons and the times of your days
All the nickels and the dimes of your days
Let the reasons and rhymes of your days
All begin and end with me

I want to see your face
In every kind of light
In fields of dawn
And forests of the night
And when you stand before the candles on a cake
Oh, let me be the one to hear the silent wish you make

Those tomorrows waiting deep in your eyes
And the world of love you keep in your eyes
I'll awaken what's asleep in your eyes
It may take a kiss or two

Through all of my life
Summer, winter, spring and fall of my life
All I ever will recall of my life
Is all of my life with you, ooh, ooh

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Beefcake: Dave Lieberman in the Soup

His style is quite down to earth, straightforward and uncomplicated not to mention that Dave Lieberman is quite a morsel himself. In direct contrast to his style we present four sturdy young men from the pages of Blue+66 and Men's Workout. Dave's recipe presented here with a variation or two for Roasted Red Pepper Soup is for four people. The mind expands thinking of young Dave cooking for these guys and it is obvious that Dave cooks. Visit his website, buy his books, watch his show and do some cooking yourself, but don't forget to cool down.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Roasted Red Peppers, 6, peeled and seeded
Leek, one cleaned, medium size
Butter, unsalted, 4 tablespoons
Garlic, 3 cloves, thinly sliced
Broth, one litre, vegetable or chicken
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar, 3 tablespoons
Chives, for garnish

1. Dave calls for roasting peppers on the stove top -- an old fashioned way that most immigrant families from Southern Italy are very familiar with. There are some commercial varieties available and Dave tells us that the way to get hold of the real magilla is to see if there are remnants of the blackened skin on the peppers.
2. Make sure the leek is washed and void of the sand that hides therein. After cutting off the tough tops [is it warm in here?] -- yes, it is difficult to think of cutting off tough tops -- anyway, make a lengthwise cut from top to bottom, going halfway in and then run cold water over it, while rubbing inside [it is very warm in here] a bit and washing the dirt away.

3. (Now that that's over.) Cut the leek into 1/2 strips. The butter should be melted in a large, heavy kettle and then, Dave says, "sweat the leeks for a few minutes until they soften and lighten." and then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes.
4. Add the peppers and broth. Salt and pepper to taste. The peppers should be covered and if the broth doesn't do the trick, add some water.
5. Crank up the heat, bring it all to a boil and then lower the heat to simmering.
6. Add the vinegar, stir often and skim a stray pepper skin that may have eluded the process and floats to the top.
7. Cooking takes about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool.
8. When cool, puree the soup in blender. Make sure it is cool. Dave warns about a "blender explosion" if it's not an immersion blender.
9. So, to feed your guests, you'll need to reheat this, of course. Lieberman serves it with crostini topped with goat cheese floating above it and garnished with chives.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Speaking of Soap Operas

Here's a critique from the past of la creme de la creme, Ryan's Hope

Critical Condition

Writing 101: Hope Writers Enroll

Soap Opera Weekly, December 19, 2000

by P.K. Waddle

Soapnet isn't The Learning Channel, but there is a soap-writing class being broadcast right now: Ryan's Hope. Watch just one scene of this legendary Claire Labine/Paul Mayer creation and you immediately see why this show won a shocking number of writing Emmys and Writers Guild awards, even during its first few years. What is so compelling - and why every soap writer (and wannabe) in existence needs to watch - is not necessarily what this show is, but what it is not.

Witness a bit of "current" story synopsis: Siobhan, the free spirit of the five Ryan children, has recently arrived. She fights constantly with more grounded sister Mary, whose marriage to Jack has problems because Mary is spending so much time on brother Frank's run for the Senate. Frank is having an affair with his campaign manager, Rae, which has just been discovered by his ex, and the mother of his child, Jill. Maeve and Johnny, the Ryan clan's parents, are balancing the running of Ryan's Bar with refereeing frequent arguments among their kids and taking care of Finn MacCool, a huge dog Siobhan brought with her that Ma and Da watch while Siobhan nurses a sprained ankle.

OK, class, what do you not see? Serial killers, unfrozen relatives, houses descending into hell, trips to tropical islands, etc.

Stories like that provide fantasy and escape. And while those plots have their place and are entertaining in their own right, there was a time when talented writers could make that looks-boring-in-print synopsis of RH just as compelling on an everyday basis as a host of more drastic and baroque story lines.

With so many soap writers and watchers alike bemoaning the forced contrivances of many current-day plots, a writer could dare to write a plot about...gasp!...something a family or person might really go through. (Of course, if your family is beset by brainwashed children or witches with talking dolls, then perhaps you already have all the characters to identify with.)
The biggest impetus for writers to watch RH and reconstruct its kind of home-and-hearth stories to balance out all the insanity comes from Labine herself in a quote about the creation of RH's bible and early story. "After a while, we weren't writing the stories anymore," Labine said. "Once the characterizations were set...the stories wrote themselves."

If that isn't impetus for a writer to create characters of that kind of self-propulsive depth - when scribes are pulling out their hat wondering what will lure a wandering audience back to their show - I don't know what is.


Ryan's Hope had an excellent cast for the most part within which were four potent roles for women, Maeve, Jillian, Mary and Delia none of whom have been equalled. Their portrayers were no slouches either. Helen Gallagher as Maeve Ryan, the upper West Side matriarch and Nancy Addison as Jillian Coleridge stayed with the show from beginning to end. Ilene Kristen and Kate Mulgrew left indelible marks on Delia and Mary -- making it virtually impossible for anyone else to make an impression. In the case of Mary, the character was finally sent off to meet her maker. Ms. Kristen at least got to return to make Delia hers once and for all.

To experience the person who created the unforgettable character of Deliam The Triad will be showcasing her talents, musical and otherwise Saturday the 24th of February.

From today's New York Daily News from the omnipresent, omniscient and omnivorous Carolyn Hinsey. Re-printed here because it involves two ongoing favourites, the dashing Thorsten Kaye and the divine Alicia Minshew.

'AMC' Digs Up a Grave & Unearths the Truth

Kendall and Zach dig up his "dead" father's grave today on All My Children, and are shocked to find it empty.

"They find a note that his father wrote right after he found out that Zach was alive," says Alicia Minshew, who plays Kendall. "It says Zach is going to pay for faking his death and making his father suffer all those years thinking his favorite son was dead."

Fans know that Zach's father, Alexander Cambias Sr., was a monster and that Zach - real name Alexander Cambias Jr. - faked his death, changed his name to Zach Slater and moved to Las Vegas to start a new life as a successful casino owner.

"Zach faked his death to escape his father because he was evil and abusive and treated his family horribly," says Minshew. "The note also alludes to the fact that [Alexander Sr.] is really alive."

Indeed, he is.

"Zach gets a phone call from his dad," says Thorsten Kaye, who plays Zach. "He wants him to come meet him. It turns out that he faked his death because he found out that Zach faked his, and he wants to get back at him by taking away everything that matters to him."

Like Kendall.

But first, Alex Sr. killed all of Kendall's partners at Fusion, which means that yes, Alexander Cambias Sr. turns out to be the notorious Satin Slayer.

"He's been sitting back, waiting, this whole time," says Kaye. "So it's not a bad story, as far as going back in time and re-creating something, for this guy to come back to what made him become this killer. Especially if you wanted to get rid of all these great contract players."Daddy Dearest lures Zach and Kendall to a warehouse next week, where he promptly drugs Zach and takes Kendall hostage.

"Kendall has all these scenes with Alexander Cambias where he says, 'Leave my son and go to Ryan. He's the one you want,'" says Minshew. "Kendall says, 'I would never leave Zach, you piece of crap. You'll have to kill me first.'"

Things escalate, and by the end of next week, Zach has a shocking revelation about the way his mother really died - but is it enough to save Kendall?

"It's all very dramatic, but there are some lighter scenes coming up, I promise," says Minshew. "Kendall and Zach are in for a really nice surprise."

"It's about time, don't you think?" says Kaye.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

For Michael Medved

(©1972, Martin Rochlin, Ph.D. Reprinted with permission from the author.)

This questionnaire is for self-avowed heterosexuals only. If you are not openly heterosexual, pass it on to a friend who is.

Please try to answer the questions as candidly as possible. Your responses will be held in strict confidence and your anonymity fully protected.

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2. When and how did you first decide you were a heterosexual?

3. Is it possible your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?

4. Could it be that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?

5. If you've never slept with a person of the same sex, how can you be sure you wouldn't prefer that?

6. To whom have you disclosed your heterosexual tendencies? How did they react?

7. Why do heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into their lifestyle?

8. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can't you just be what you are and keep it quiet?

9. Would you want your children to be heterosexual, knowing the problems they'd face?

10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual men. Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual male teachers, pediatricians, priests, or scoutmasters?

11. With all the societal support for marriage, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?

12. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?

13. Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?

14. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective? Don't you fear s/he might be inclined to influence you in the direction of her/his own leanings?

15. Heterosexuals are notorious for assigning themselves and one another rigid, stereotyped sex roles. Why must you cling to such unhealthy role-playing?

16. With the sexually segregated living conditions of military life, isn't heterosexuality incompatible with military service?

17. How can you enjoy an emotionally fulfilling experience with a person of the other sex when there are such vast differences between you? How can a man know what pleases a woman sexually or vice-versa?

18. Shouldn't you ask your far-out straight cohorts, like skinheads and born-agains, to keep quiet? Wouldn't that improve your image?

19. Why are heterosexuals so promiscuous?

20. Why do you attribute heterosexuality to so many famous lesbian and gay people? Is it to justify your own heterosexuality?

21. How can you hope to actualize your God-given homosexual potential if you limit yourself to exclusive, compulsive heterosexuality?

22. There seem to be very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to. After all, you never deliberately chose to be a heterosexual, did you? Have you considered aversion therapy or Heterosexuals Anonymous?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Christopher Meloni in DNA Magazine

Christopher Meloni plays tough guys on Law And Order: SVU and OZ. He’s also not afraid to piss in front of a TV crew or stand up for gay rights, reports Steven Gregor.

If you’re a Christopher Meloni fan (and if you’re gay, then surely you are), you’re no doubt spending the start of each week indoors. With both Law And Order: SVU and Oz airing on Network Ten and SBS respectively, your sofa is the best place to be on Monday night. [in Australia]

Meloni, 45, lives in New York with his wife and two children and is best known for his portrayal of straight-laced but explosive Manhattan detective Elliot Stabler on NBC’s crime drama Law And Order: SVU (watched by 14 million Americans each week). Earlier this year, in his seventh season of SVU, Meloni received his first Emmy nomination (in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series) for his work on the show.

But Meloni’s gay appeal originated back in 1998, a year before starting SVU, when he was cast in HBO’s gritty prison drama Oz. It was in his role as Chris Keller, a sexual predator, murderer and bisexual prison inmate, that Meloni earned himself a significant and loyal gay fan base. According to American TV Week magazine “his raw sexual energy and full-frontal nude scenes made him an audience favourite, even though his character was as likely to kiss as kill”.

A year later Meloni started on the latest Law And Order franchise and appeared on both shows concurrently until Oz ended in 2003.

“The gay community was appreciative and affected by my character [on Oz], in a myriad of ways,” laughed Meloni in an interview with Ability magazine. “From the shower scenes to the acting. I think he was the guy people hated to love. He kinda represented the extreme in passionate but dysfunctional relationships. I mean, he may have been a sociopath but really he was just a guy looking to be loved.”

Hard-working Meloni describes his time on both shows as “exhausting but cool”. Oz creator, Tom Fontana, holds Meloni and his committed work ethic in high esteem.

“As an actor, Chris is passionate, daring and courageous. In the five years we made OZ he never once flinched at doing anything I asked for in the scripts. That included kissing co-star Lee Tergesen [Tobias Beecher]. Having kissed Lee Tergesen myself, he should have got hazard pay,” Fontana jokes. “The man is such a dedicated artist. He didn’t care if his character was likable or sympathetic. He never worried that his fans would confuse the real Chris with the guy in prison.

“What can I say about this man? Well, he literally stuck out his dick for me. His fearlessness inspired me to explore the depths of Keller’s soul and take bigger risks with Keller’s libido. More importantly, Chris’ fearlessness pushed me to write the Keller-Beecher gay relationship storyline as honestly and fully as I was able. He wanted to tell the truth, fuck the consequences.”

Meloni’s willingness to push the envelope in OZ saw one of his storylines condemned as being “vile and disgusting and an offence against God” by an American television critic.

“The relentless graphic violence on OZ didn’t bother this critic,” explains Fontana. “But peeing did. There was a scene where Keller was in the hole [solitary confinement] and had to take a piss. Chris got the script and came into my office. ‘I want to do this. I actually want to take a piss on camera,’ he said. Normally, a scene like this would involve prop men and tubes and other special effects but because Keller was naked Chris’ instincts were 100 per cent correct – the scene would have more impact if he actually peed.

“Now, I don’t know how an actor prepares for that but when the moment came we were on the soundstage, the director called ‘action’, the camera panned down and Chris started peeing – on cue. The shot was perfect, except for one slight technical glitch. Take two. Same deal, action, camera panned, Chris again started to pee on cue. The shot was even better. I’m happy. The director’s delirious. Chris asks, ‘Do we want to do it again? Because I have another one in me’.”

It’s not just Meloni’s masculine good looks attracting (and keeping) his gay fan base. He supports the work of a number of GLBT relevant charities including the New York AIDS Walk, the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). In fact, earlier this year, Meloni was presented with an HRC Equality Award. The HRC is America’s largest organisation dedicated to GLBT advocacy. It has about 600,000 members and works towards an America where GLBT people are ensured their basic equal rights and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Speaking at the Equality Awards gala dinner earlier this year, HRC President Joe Solmonese said Chris’ work both on screen and off had helped reshape the GLBT rights debate in America.

“Christopher Meloni has been a vocal supporter of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community by doing such important work as starring in public service announcements for NBC discussing discrimination and violence against GLBT people,” he said.

Meloni’s public service announcements covered topics ranging from general GLBT awareness and respect to schoolyard bullying and violence against GLBT students.

“I feel as though they are an oppressed minority,” says Meloni. “They’re institutionally oppressed. Just ask the church. Yeah, I’ll get political, c’mon.”

On news of Meloni being acknowledged by the HRC, social commentator and Washington Blade managing editor, Kevin Haff, went so far as to say: “At a time when public figures are finding it increasingly difficult to publicly announce support for gay rights, and same-sex marriage in particular, it’s refreshing to see the HRC honour someone who really earned it.”

It’s official. Meloni’s great looking and an all-round nice guy. So, next Monday night, your place or mine?

[Be on the look out for this issue to show up on EBay with a customized autograph from the man himself. He's there for us and consistently does all the right things.]

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Tuesday De-Briefing: Rex Balsom or Someone He Used To Be

This is not the ordinary de-briefing of an actor, which means that perhaps the young man should be seen more than he is. This is the de-briefing of a character. One Life to Live in its auspicious past as noted here had no problem in relating the coming out story of Billy as portrayed by Ryan Phillipe. During the regime of Gary Tomlin, out Gay Executive Producer of the show, when the character of Rex Balsom was created, he was intended be gay, but gay of another stripe -- a flawed, manipulative gay teenager with a dysfunctional upbringing. Somehow that didn't happen. The pious gay viewer may guess at the circumstances of the sudden change in the sexual orientation of the character. The good news is that Rex Balsom was created by a very talented young actor, John Paul Lavoisier. JP can take Rex to a lot of places. Unfortunately the powers that be did not permit the character to speak the love that dare not speak its name.

While All My Children seems to be going all over the map with sexual orientation, neither of the ABC-TV shows appears to want to allow the existence of a viable gay male as part of a core family. While it would be more than satisfying to de-brief JP Lavoisier, it would be much more so to de-brief or actually allow to appear the original conception of a young gay man on the landscape of a daytime continuing drama. Are Dena Higley or Megan MacTavish watching Brothers & Sisters? It's on the same network.

New TV Show Buzz from Televisionista

NBC's new drama The Black Donnellys from Oscar winner Paul Haggis begins next Monday night after an all-new Heroes (10:03 PM ET/PT), but for those of you eager to see the pilot, Yahoo! TV is already streaming the first episode.

The drama created by Crash writers Haggis and Bobby Moresco tells the story of four young working-class Irish-American brothers who live by the motto "family first" despite their involvement with organized crime in New York City.

The Black Donnellys will have the benefit of airing following two very exciting episodes of Heroes and opposite CSI: Miami reruns in March.

If the drama does better than Studio 60, the network will probably keep it in the timeslot until the end of the season.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Brothers & Sisters

This show has a vitality to it. Most prognosticators would have given it a very short shelf life given the many changes it absorbed from the onset. Watching it from the beginning and participating in its progression, it is to see how it it keeps growing and changing without losing its identity.

Perhaps it is because of the powerful Scorpio nature of the creativity involved. There are at least four Scorpios involved in this show: Jon Robin Baitz, Sally Field, Matthew Rhys, and Callista Flockhart. Scorpio energy has much to do with regeneration and rebirth as well as daring-do and calculated risks.

With the addition of Rob Lowe and since January the stories had taken on a lighter air up until last evening when a high dose of angst returned to the plot. What has been consistent is the way Kevin, the gay sibling is written and that may the calculated risk. There seems to be no compunction for the character to participate in full on kissing with his boyfriends as evidenced once again in the last episode's last scene with Kevin and Chad. Kevin is going head on into a relationship he knows will end badly. Chad is that dream man that many await only to discover that he is highly flawed when he does show up and so many still can't turn away from him. Kevin invited him in just as one invites a vampire in. That's how a vampire gets power over you. This plot line of the actor in the closet seems to be relevant these days. The point was also made about how actors flit back and forth between their male lovers and then seek refuge in their beards.

The creative team has not turned away from this sexual aspect of Kevin's life in the persistence associated with fixed signs like Scorpios and it is this persistence that makes this show a landmark gay TV experience. This is no tease like Nip/Tuck nor a joke like Rescue Me nor the straight fantasy of what silly gay people are like on Will & Grace. Kevin has flaws just like the rest of his family and has a life like the rest of his family.

Ken Olin and Greg Berlanti are not Scorpios but neither are strangers to good story telling and perhaps as has been suggested before, Olin learned from the gay story experience on Thirtysomething when the same network caved into ignorance.

Much of the effort was put into this show during 2006 when the beneficial aspects of Jupiter were vibrating through Scorpio. It would be safe to say that this is part of the natal chart of this show and indicates that its life will be enjoyed as the fulfillment of its creative ambitions and the quenching of its intellectual thirst. Perhaps the same could be said of Mr. Baitz and his Scorpio actors.

There's something special happening on this show. It's hoped that Nielsen will bear this out.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Song of the Week: John Mayall

Note to Isaiah Washington and Tim Hardaway,

With all due respect to you and the unresolved irrational hate that lives within you: Gay People are not your oppressors. Direct your anger in the right direction now that it is the time of year when New Orleans comes to mind. It is more likely that most evolved gay people are there beside you in your oppression. I wouldn't worry so much about the gay people who work with you as people who may be working against you because you are black males.

Maureen Dowd had this to say during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:

When they were deaf for so long to the horrific misery and cries for help of the victims in New Orleans - most of them poor and black, like those stuck at the back of the evacuation line yesterday while 700 guests and employees of the Hyatt Hotel were bused out first - they shook the faith of all Americans in American ideals. And made us ashamed.

Who are we if we can't take care of our own?

It means something perhaps that the two of you are seeking help for your unresolved homophobia, in the meantime, please shoot your venom in the right direction. Stop evolving into the oppressor.

New Orleans native, Luisah Teish, priestess of Oshun, resident of San Francisco refers to both cities as "a psychic seaport." Residing in both cities is literally living on the edge. Perhaps it is experiencing the survival instinct so intimately that enhances the psychic element. Teish goes on to say in her book, Jambalaya, "The psychic energies of many people living and dead hover over the city of New Orleans, possibly because of the water. Visitors to the city become tipsy after being there only a short time. Tipsy is the name given to the state of mind that proceeds possession ... I grew up tipsy."

Perhaps it is no accident that both psychic seaports are very gay friendly.

So with the song of the week, Sonny Landreth's "Congo Square" sung by John Mayall, there is a celebration of the once and future New Orleans of the magic that was and is its multi-cultural fabric and there is the hope that soon all will be possessed by the spirit of celebration -- and within that celebration inherent diversity. Survival means acknowledging that human beings do best when they respect each other and pull together. Know who your brothers and sisters are.

Congo Square

(Sonny Landreth)

Might be superstition but some kind of somethin'
Goin' on down there
Might be superstition but some kind of somethin'
Goin' on down there
It's an old time tradition when they play their
Drums at night in Congo Square

You can hear 'em in the distance
And the old folks up the bayou say a prayer
You can hear 'em in the distance
And the old folks up the bayou say a prayer
That's when the voodoo people gather
And they play their drums at night in Congo Square

My eyes were not believin'
What I seen there but I could not turn away
My eyes were not believin'
What I seen there but I could not turn away
They had that mojo in motion
And I seen 'em dance in trance with that snake

It might be superstition
But when I hear 'em in the night I say a prayer
It might be superstition
But when I hear 'em in the night I say a prayer
And that's 'cause I respects tradition
Like the kind they carry on in Congo Square

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Beefcake: Gay is the New Black II

As we approach Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Carnevale and all that, the city that comes to mind in the USA is New Orleans, still recovering from the neglect of the powers that be. It is accepted that racism and racism on the part of those in power played a large part in the neglect of the Big Easy. It is the multi-cultural city that also plays host to many a gay man's living out a fantasy or two. In honour of that and in honour of gay men and their fantasies here is a recipe for Jambalaya for two and some pictures worthy of a fantasy or two.

Pancetta, 2 ounces
Dry White Wine
Onion, 1 small
Red Bell Pepper, small
Fresh Fennel, small bulb
Tomato, 1 ripe, peeled, seeded and chopped
Stock, Chicken or Vegetable -- 1/2 litre
Cornmeal, 1 tablespoon, soaked in water for 5 minutes
Dill, Dried Basil, Oregano
Large Shrimp, 4 (raw, shelled, deveined)
White Fish, about 3 ounces

1. Chop the onion, pepper and fennel together, put aside.
2. Chop the pancetta into very small bits and saute with a few spritzes of white wine.
3. Add the onion, pepper and fennel to the pancetta and stir until the onion is golden.
4. Then add the tomato along with the stock.
5. Once the cornmeal is soaked add it to the mixture along with the spices
6. Then add the shrimp to the stew, cover and simmer for 20 minutes
7. Add the white fish cut into 1.5 inch squares.
8. Boil for 4 minutes.

This is good enough to fuel acting out a fantasy or two.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gay is the New Black

Tim Hardaway's ignorant and hateful comments against gay people this week in the afterglow of John Amaeche's coming out party as a way to introduce his autobiography Man in the Middle on the eve of the NBA All Star festivities in Las Vegas came during Black History Month. There's poignancy in its timing.

There's no excuse for what he said. No, there's no stroking him or complimenting him for being honest. Let all those who insist on reaffirming that knee jerk reaction, cease and desist. His honesty is thoroughly unnecessary. Gay people know that there are people who think that way. Many are currently in power and have been in power for centuries. The alleged scriptural foundation for that special brand of hatred is well known. It is time to remind people that slavery and racism were also based on Bible stories, that the racial inferiority of Black Africans came from being descended from Noah's son Ham, who saw his drunken father's nakedness. These beliefs were generated in the same allegedly inspired writings that expound the morality and subsequent abominations that define the sins of same gender loving. Religion, for the most part when it comes to dogmatism, is goofy. Tim Hardaway is religious, ignorant and goofy.

It seems important right now to acknowledge two of the last century's geniuses who were both black and gay, both acknowledged in the pages of this website and web log -- James Baldwin and Billy Strayhorn. Both have been attached to the ultimate American art form, Jazz. Both were classic beings. Both were beautiful men, the antitheses of the Hardaway's of this world. Both should be inspirations to the Amaeche's of this world.

Jazz is America's Classical Music and eloquently so in the form of Duke Ellington's music and Duke Ellington's music is intrinsically tied to the creativity that was embodied and personified in his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn. The Advocate acknowledges that with the article here posted.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Judith's Light

And speaking of Ugly Betty, it may not be the best show on television but it's damn close to being one of the most enjoyable not in small measure due to its wonderful cast.

Judith Light is luminous and never misses a beat as the alcoholic, homicidal yet sympathetic matriarch. Those who appreciate her, of course, remember her run as the extremely flawed yet brimming with pathos, Karen Wolek on One Life to Live -- a landmark character full of noteworthy performances. Before she landed on Who's the Boss -- she made a pit stop on the best medical drama bar none, St. Elsewhere as an armed very pregnant woman who holds surgeons in an operating room hostage until the one who botched her husband's vasectomy is found. Given the opportunity, therefore, Judith Light is a consummate actor -- she enhances an already gifted ensemble.

Good stuff. (Hey, any show who showcases a twelve year old boy enacting Hairspray in a New York City subway for his muy macho papi deserves all the praise it gets.)