Welcome to this site and web log. Your host is Papa G

Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday's Main Event

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gay Thursday: Viva Espana

The vestiges of the Roman Empire are still with us. In some ways in their pristine state, most evidently in the languages and cultures of the Iberian and Italian peninsulas and their satellite islands. Rome inherited from Greece the penchant for male homosexuality. It's true, get over it. Perhaps it is that cultural strain that still runs through Spain. Thanks to Andy Towle's better than average web log with homosexual tendencies the following was brought to the North American light during this soon to be high pitched electoral year. It is enough to keep the still dead Generalissimo Franco in a sepulchral tail spin.

The President of Spain, Zapatero has this to say:

'We will continue to make reforms to improve the conditions of all," he said in an interview with the monthly gay magazine Zero, where he appeared on the cover for the third time since 2002. 'We must facilitate the implementation of the rights that we have already approved: the right to adoption (for same-sex couples), of course, and the right to legally change sex,' he said. If the conservative opposition Popular Party of Mariano Rajoy wins the election, Zapetero vowed to prevent 'a single step backwards' in the policies of his government. 'I will do whatever possible so that Mr. Rajoy does not withdraw the rights of any family,' he said. Spain became only the third member of the European Union, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to allow same-sex marriages in July 2005 with a law that also legalised adoptions by gays and lesbians. The measure was heavily criticised by the Roman Catholic Church in Spain and a section of the Popular Party. The PP has gone to the constitutional court to challenge the use of the word 'marriage' in the law, and has vowed if elected to withdraw the right of gays and lesbians to adopt. Homosexuality was legalised in Spain in 1979, four years after the death of dictator Francisco Franco whose regime shipped gays to institutions that some activists have likened to concentration camps. 'We are the envy of other countries for what we have achieved (on gay rights), and we have the support of a lot of countries,' said Zapatero."

From Wikipedia:

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (born 4 August 1960), better known under his second surname Zapatero, is the President of the Government of Spain. The party he leads, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), won the general election on 14 March 2004. Actions of his government have included withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq, a failed and controversial negotiation with the armed separatist group ETA, the creation of Spanish Courts for Violence against Women, legalizing same-sex marriages and a program of amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Word: Summer of Love

Web logs and MSM are reporting with glee that Senator Larry Craig is looking for Summer interns. And there is much to grin and smirk about.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Idaho Senator Larry Craig is currently seeking intern applications for the summer term, which runs from May to August. The application deadline is March 15, however if more time is needed for the application process, please contact Senator Craig's office for an extension. Craig offers paid internships within the Washington, D.C., office. Preference is given to Idaho applicants attending Idaho schools who are in their junior or senior years of college (including graduating seniors).

'Interns have the chance to be an essential part of a working congressional office,' said Craig. 'They participate in the legislative process as well as ensure that constituent services run smoothly. For those interested in politics, it is an incredible opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how our government functions while serving the people of Idaho.'

Interns are paired with staff members based on experience and interests, in order to best utilize their talents

Office of Senator Larry Craig
ATTN: Internship Program
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510-1203
(202) 224-2752

Function: noun
Text: the making of unkind jokes as a way of showing one's scorn for someone or something
Synonyms derision, mockery

Related Words: contempt, disdain, scorn; belittlement, deprecation, disparagement; insult, put-down; laughter, snickering; burlesque, caricature, mimicry, satire

Near Antonyms: applause, approval, commendation, praise

What is interesting about all of this in the season of the war of words, is that not much needs to be said in response to this announcement, except the announcement itself: unadulterated humour.

The other side of this very funny coin is that it's quite sad that once again a self-loathing homosexual-behaving Republican (He's already told us he's not gay) has placed yet another notch on the hypocritical and morally bereft bed board. Very few intelligent people need an explanation of what this is all about. The ignorant will continue to snicker and grin about the whole enchilada.

What is important to remember in this season of polling and political allegiance is that this man is a member of a political persuasion that places much value on dogmatic morality, romanticizes waging war and thrives on divisiveness. real funny.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday Talent II: Moving On

LOS ANGELES, CA -- June 12,1992

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation applauds ABC's *One Life to Live* for featuring a gay character...A young Ryan [Philippe] displays his acting chops with his performance as Billy Douglas. Ryan is called upon to perform a number of difficult scenes, but none are as memorable as Billy's "coming out" to his parents. Billy shows bravery as he reveals his homosexuality to his parents so reluctant to hear his words. Ryan's strong performance is a gutsy one as well. Kudos to him for taking on a controversial role at such a young point in his career.

These days Ryan is out and about promoting his new film Stop Loss (March 28) which seems perfect this election year about Iraq. Perhaps it will put a crimp in the RNC's penchant for romanticizing it. Here's a viewer's comment from The International Movie Data Base:

I had an opportunity to attend an advanced screening of this film yesterday in Boulder CO. I am not in any way affiliated with film industry ... I was just a lucky walk in.

I'd seen a preview of this movie a few days before and was not impressed by the trailer. It looked like another belated anti-war movie (better late then never), with youthful actors looking ruggedly pretty for the camera.

What I saw was a fist full of reality mixed with a great story of, I guess, a youth becoming a man – not in a sexual way.

The plot is obvious from the trailer, so there is nothing I can give away. The ending was not surprising, at least to me. And the ending was both obvious and powerful.

The beginning is very life like. If you've seen *Gunner Palace*, or been to this war, you'll recognize it. It starts in a format of home movies made by soldiers who serve in Iraq. It was apparently based on the films and photographs shot by actual soldiers. Some of this footage was included into these opening sequences, much was recreated by the actors. So it is ultra realistic. The only way to tell them apart is to look for Ryan Philippe, who is good in his role but stands out due to being easily recognizable.

The film quickly moves into a war sequence, demonstrating the horrors of war. Do not expect to see the charge of the light brigade. It is not a massive battle, but you will see the bullets flying, and more importantly killing. If you were put off by the violence in *Saving Private Ryan*, you may want to close your eyes for a few minutes at this point. Past the gun battle we are back in the States. So the Iraq part is only about 20 minutes.

The real story kicks in when Ryan Philippe with his war buddies returns home a decorated war hero looking forward to put the past behind him only to find out that his contract was extended by the Stop Loss policy and he is to go back to Iraq. The film does not become boring or preachy. And through the main character's journey both we and he realize that he has very few options: go to jail, abandon (physically) the country and everything he is and has, or go back to war. What choice can he make? So what was my point about the "becoming a man" story? Well, the way I see it, the main character's final decision, is not just forced on him. It springs not from fear or just inevitability, but from his sense of responsibility towards his parents and friends – I'm not going to say 'country', this has nothing to do with flag waving patriotism. His accepting to go back, is an act of an adult. He accepts all the horror, the risk, the BS, the unfairness. He does it through a conscious decision. The decision is to take care of those who depend on him. That sounds pretty grown up to me.

Thanks go out to Kimberly Peirce, who wrote and directed this film. And directly in front of whom I was sitting quietly last night while she was presenting her movie.

Tuesday's Talent: Heath Baby

If only ...

Thanks, Datalounge.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Moonday Tarot Meditation

About the Five of Cups from LearnTarot.com:

In readings, the Five of Cups can alert you to the possibility of a loss and its associated emotions - sorrow, regret, denial. The loss could be great or small. It could be tangible (money, possession, relationship, work), or intangible (dream, opportunity, prospect, reputation). You may already know what this card represents, but, if not, use it as a warning to help you avoid a loss, or at least reduce its toll.

You may feel discouraged by this card, but it does have a positive side. Every loss opens new possibilities for growth because every loss initiates change. Loss hurts because it is our emotional resistance to change. No matter how much we accept intellectually that we must go with the flow, if that flow separates us from what we love, our feelings say, "No!"

The Jungian interpretation from Robert Wang adds this:

"... this card may be interpreted as the fulfillment of an unconscious desire for the negative experience.

Such interpretation may lead to the philosophical principle of self-determination, the postulate that the experience of each individual is a matter of personal choice at some essential level, although the mechanisms of such choice may not be evident to the waking consciousness."

Semicfineart.com tells us:

For Strategy Questions. Don't look back! When things bottom out in your life and you feel as if you've had the screws put to you, take a deep breath, inspect the damage, and then get down to work again. Recover what you can and pitch the rest. It is not the end of the world ... Avoid making the same mistake twice, but don't be gun-shy either. By the time it's all said and done, this may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.

The Five of cups is the background of tonight's question which had to with healing, or rather the peeling away of that which gets in the way to where we need to go as the moon wanes. The moon has entered Scorpio which is all about death and rebirth, but there will be much confusion before we get to where we need to go within the next week.

What are the current capacities to draw on? The World card was pulled. LearnTarot.com says:

In readings, it is a very positive sign that you are in a position to realize your heart's desire. What that is for you depends on the situation, but it will always feel great. Remember, though, that Card 21 is a symbol of active contribution and service. To hold the World in our hands, we must give of ourselves to it. That is the source of true happiness.

Wang in his Jungian interpretation offers this:

" ... a profound and practical activity on a multitude of levels. One of the catch phrases of Western mysticism is "As above, so below." ...the card describes the waking consciousness, and the mechanisms of the public self, the Persona, which each individual develops to deal with society."

In psychoanalytic terms, it's the ego, the adult, creative and problem solving part of the personality that the Jungian interpretation emphasizes. It's about integration and rising above unconscious negativity. Healing comes from the integrated self.

And where are we going? A bit of rebirth it seems within the healing ...

It is a truism that there is violence, anger and mean-spiritedness in the world. Certainly there is enough of this, but there is also much good will and caring. A mother hands a drink to her child. A friend lends his car for the weekend. A worker fills in for a sick colleague. Small gestures, barely noticed, but so important. The Six of Cups is a card of simple goodness. It encourages you to be kind, generous and forgiving.

The Six of Cups also represents innocence - a word with many shades of meaning. You can be innocent in the strictly legal sense of lack of guilt. You can be innocent of the truth - unaware of some secret. You can be lacking in deceit or corruption - innocent of ulterior motive. Finally, you can be virtuous or chaste. These are all possibilities that can apply to the Six of Cups, depending on the situation.

Jungian/Wang bring us to something akin to collective consciousness. The conclusion of this meditation says: "This may be a positive card, one of selfless dedication which earns the reward of protection from the group which is served."

from ata-tarot.com:

The Six of Cups almost radiates an aura of joy, because it represents the past with all its memories, the present with all its gifts, and the future with all its wondrous opportunities. It has ties to all kinds of pleasure, particularly sexual pleasure, but it can also refer to smaller, everyday pleasures. Simple gestures of affection ... are still meaningful despite our modern world and its frantic pace. The Six of Cups can thus signal a gift given or received, or some other similar gesture.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Songs of the Week: Without A Chance to Resist

Phil Spector was fond of wrapping teenage dreams in "symphonies for the kids." Perhaps the hits that Mr. Spector produced were not exactly symphonic, but they were powerful musically. When the vocals were on par with the wall of sound, the effect was spectacular.

Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich emerged out of Spector's shadow to become a creative force at Red Bird Records and may have actually outdone the insane master with the first song of this week's trio. It is rumoured that one of the Crystals, Mary Thomas, is the lead singer on this cut, which sounds more like the Crystals than the Crystals do. The production is flawless and the vocal truly indicative of teenage yearning.

Vee Jay Records had its moments. It was the first label Stateside to distribute The Beatles, but lost them to Capitol Records. Paradise Lost. They also had the Four Seasons before losing them. On the R'n'B side of things there, they did give us Jerry Butler, Betty Everett, The Dells, The Pips (featuring Gladys Knight) and the top twenty R'n'B hit which is second on our mini-playlist, "Oo Wee Baby, I Love You." The title doesn't prepare the listener for the haunting, almost visceral sound. It's Motown-esque and sounds as if Marvin Gaye were singing lead with the Temptations or the Four Tops. Fred Hughes came and went, but he did provide this memorable stroll through desire. Not too long afterwards, Vee Jay Records went.

Of the three songs here "Selfish One" was the most successful in that it made to the POP Chart top twenty in 1964--not quite top ten. It tears a page from Smokey Robinson's play book with a vocal and lyric worthy of Detroit although it comes from Chicago's legendary Chess Records. Who knows what might have happened with this Miss Ross in the right environment. How clever to entwine "Tenderly" into the fabric of the music.

This song tells a story and has a beginning and end, wrapping the dream up in adult consummation.

(Wilfred McKinley/Carl Smith)

Selfish one, why keep your love to yourself
It's like a souvenir that just sits on a shelf
It seems like you built a fence around your heart
Afraid that sharing might tear it apart
You pass up every chance at the start of romance

Selfish one, why keep your love in store
You think it's steel that will keep forever more
Steel wears down with weather and age
And a heart could break down in a lonely stage
You better let your heart find a mate before it's too late

You let so much time pass by
I found myself still giving you the eye
You must have realised much to my surprise
You're making eyes at me
Is it really you?!

Now selfish one, you're walking me to my door
Selfish one, you never did this before
Without a chance to resist, your lips met mine
You're beginning to let your love light shine
I can see that you're really on the ball
You're not selfish at all
No, not at all
The way you hold me,
The way you squeeze me
No you're not selfish
You're not selfish at all, not at all ...

This web log has been focusing on the music of the past these last two weeks. Therefore, pilfered from the web site's Sports gallery is contemporary heart throb in a classic Rock'n'Roll era pose: Brady Quinn.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Beefcake: The Dessert Tray

A trio of hot ones. Buon Appetito!

Saturday Beefcake: But Can He Cook?

Ok, there are some downright ridiculous people on the Food Network posing as culinary experts. Some of them are downright over exposed. There are also those who are not pretentious, but excellent practitioners. Lately, the powers that be there have made a couple of good decisions in regard to programming.

Without really knowing too much about him and watching the promos for him, some research was done and voila! here’s the new guy on The Food Network. So, we’ll bite--OK, maybe it’s a bit superficial--it is, after all, Saturday Beefcake. AND, although he is not precisely Canadian, he’s hanging out up there and there is an affinity in these parts for all things Canuck, given our resident moose technician.

Here’s the link to the network’s official bio for this guy

He has a very interesting background and a couple of things stand out:

"Dynamic young chef Danny Boome brings his passion for food and culinary exploration to America with fresh perspectives and unique quick-fix ideas. In his new Food Network series, Rescue Chef, everyday cooks experiencing personal culinary obstacles welcome Boome into their homes to save the day. This energetic "Rescue Chef" offers viewers creative culinary solutions and a true understanding of the basics necessary to guarantee continued success in the kitchen. From semi-professional hockey to au pair, this "Rescue Chef" has explored many trades but always had a passion for cooking ...

Boome launched his television career in 2004 on UKTV Food's co-production Wild and Fresh where he travelled across Canada seeking out the best home-grown delights each province had to offer. He would then return his host's hospitality by taking inspiration from traditional dishes and cooking up a delicious meal with a contemporary twist! ...

An advocate for educating children, parents, and teachers on healthy eating, Boome promotes the importance of understanding the production chain that delivers to the kitchen table. He runs a cooking school featuring courses for novice cooks as well as experienced chefs. In 2006, Boome also held classes for Peterborough Prison inmates in England and advised the kitchen staff on menu and produce selection"

Danny Boome website.

And in keeping with our what’s hot theme, here’s one of the young man’s recipes:


Olive oil, 50 ml
Yellow pepper, one, deseeded and sliced
Green pepper, one, deseeded and sliced
White Onion, one, finely sliced
Red Onions, two, finely sliced
Celery, four sticks, finely sliced
Red chiles, two, deseeded and finely chopped
Green chiles, two, deseeded and finely chopped
Paprika, two teaspoons
Garlic cloves, three, crushed
Turkey breasts, 450 grams, about one pound, diced
Thyme leaves, one tablespoon
Bay leaves, three
Long Grain Rice, 250 grams, about a half pound
Vegetable Stock, 600 ml, about 17 ounces
Chorizo Sausage, diced, about 150 grams, about a quarter pound
Cooked prawns, 175 grams, a bit more than a quarter pound
Spring Onions, finely sliced, one bunch

1. Heat a large frying pan or paella pan, and add the peppers, onions and celery. Cook for about five minutes, until softened.
2. Next, add the chillies, followed by the paprika and garlic. Cook for a few minutes and then stir in the turkey.
3. Lightly bruise the thyme and bay leaves to release the flavour and scatter over the ingredients in the pan. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes.
4. Stir in the rice and pour the stock over. Bubble up the mixture and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, until the rice has fluffed up, stirring frequently to prevent it sticking.
5. Add the diced chorizo, followed by the crevettes and heat through.
6. Scatter the spring onions over the top and serve immediately.

N.B.: In America, what we term as the Spring onion has a slightly more rounded and defined bulb and is typically larger than the slender and more delicate green onion. The flavor has more bite and is somewhat hotter.
They can be used much like green onions, except you just need to remember that they are slightly stronger. They are wonderful sliced very thin and sautéed with fresh spring and summer vegetables and stir- fries Info from this site.

Saturday Beefcake: Tutorial

Having been turning up the heat today, we thought it opportune to place some emphasis on that which creates the heat.

Being bred in a culture where peppers, sweet and hot, are part and parcel of the cuisine, some honour is due to the mediterranean types. This comes from fiery-foods.com about the types in Calabria.

1 - Italian Cayenne variety, hot.
2 - Ciliegia (cherry), big, medium hot. Often used stuffed, then pickled or in olive oil.
3 - Ciliegia , small cherry, hot. Available as whole pods, in olive oil or dried.
4 - A popular hybrid, name unknown. Hot.
5 - Naso di Cane, mild and hot variety, offered dry, tied on a string (fila).
6 - Amando, hot to very hot.
7 - Sigaretta, very hot (similar to Thai), grows upright in clusters.
8 - Another popular hybrid, name unknown. Hot.
9 - Name unknown, hot, gowing upright in clusters, just like Sigaretta.
10 - Chiltepin-like variety with just 1/4" in diameter, very hot. Got this one served in olive oil at a restaurant.
11 - Peperone, dolce (sweet). Used fresh in salads, roasted and skinned for antipasti (appetizers) and pasta sauces, as well as dried.

The Western Hemisphere also presents us with other varieties that are quite useful in making one's culinary life quite enjoyable.

Saturday Beefcake: Salsa

Turning the heat up for today's theme, a recipe for salsa and some do like it hot.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Medium Yellow Onion, one half, finely diced
Lime Juice, fresh, one and a half tablespoons
Roma Tomatoes, six medium
Fresh Chiles, either Serrano or Jalapeno, three halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
Garlic, one clove, peeled
Cilantro, one cup, coarsely chopped
Kosher Salt, one and a half teaspoons

1. Soak the onion in the lime juice for fifteen minutes.
2. In a large caste iron skillet, “roast” the tomatoes, chiles and garlic clove until charred on all sides.
3. Pulse them all in a blender, until somewhat chunky
4. Transfer to a bowl and add the onion, lime juice, cilantro and salt.
5. Add salt or lime juice to taste if necessary.

Good Morning, Beefcake

You need something hot on a cold winter day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Main Event: AIDS Walk Fund Raiser

I am letting you know that I have registered for AIDS Walk New York. This is one of the most important issues of our era and I have, therefore, set an ambitious fundraising goal. I want to do as much as I can to make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children affected by HIV and AIDS.

The staff of Smart + Strong, publishers of POZ, Tu Salud & Real Health invite you to a New York AIDS Walk fund raiser on May 14, 2008 from 5:45 to 9:00 PM to be held at:

503 Columbus Avenue.
New York City.

Rich and Ian of Prohibition have once again generously set aside valuable time to support this important effort. There will be a $25.00 donation at the door and a two drink minimum.

Table reservations are gladly accepted for those who are dining. The thrid annual soiree will include entertainment from John Kouri and Tremors with special guest Ilene Kristen of One Life to Live. Thorsten Kaye from All My Children and Ken Lundie of Radio City Music Hall will be on hand to meet and greet the fans who come out.

Stay tuned for further celebrity additions.
RSVP: 212.938.2045. Visit this website.

This effort continues to be a labour of love and the POZ team would like nothing more than to continue contributing to New York’s most significant fund raising event. For over a quarter century now, AIDS has been a part of life. We all have to live as if we were HIV positive--better a red badge of courage rather than a scarlet letter. Fund raising puts us right in the thick of things. It somehow makes us part of the solution. This is the moment. This is when and where we can make ourselves heard and when and where we can love out loud. It’s about celebrating life. It’s about being who we are and overcoming untimely death.

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support AIDS Walk New York

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gay Thursday

This page no longer exists.

Please, donate to AIDS Walk Los Angeles. Go here for my donation page.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Word: Presidential Election

Main Entry: char·ac·ter
Pronunciation: \ˈker-ik-tər, ˈka-rik-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English caracter, from Latin character mark, distinctive quality, from Greek charaktēr, from charassein to scratch, engrave;

2 a: one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual c: the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation d: main or essential nature especially as strongly marked and serving to distinguish

"The President we get is the country we get. With each new President the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into, and get us into, is his characterisitc trouble. Finally, the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail...

That a President is inevitably put forward and elected by the forces of established wealth and power means usually that he will be indentured by the time he reaches office. But in fact he is the freest of men if he will have the courage to think so and, at least theoretically, could be so transported by the millions of people who have endorsed his candidacy as to want to do the best for them. He might come to solemn appreciation of the vote we cast, in all our multicolored and multigendered millions, as an act of trust, fingers crossed, a kind of prayer."

That was from an article written by E.L. Doctorow in 1992 following the election of Mr. Clinton. It is being typed into this web log as there a lot of chatter about a scandal whirling around John McCain. Well, he did mention recently that he was imperfect. At least, there may be some substance in this discussion if he did indeed do favours for a lobbyist as opposed to having an affair with her.

Doctorow's words are very poignant in the wake of Chris Matthews' arrogant postering over the non-response of an Obama supporter on the Senator's legislative record. Matthews doesn't seem to get that this election is not about all that. It's about character and not character that implies so-called moral superiority, but the kind that can "invoke our responses." A presidency is more than past accomplishments.

As was also noted in an editorial in that same issue of The Nation that it is up to the electorate to ratify the process. It's got to be more than that. The chatterboxes and talking heads make it about the process, but they diminish the process with silly and empty discussions about Michelle Obama's patriotism and Barack Obama's alleged palagiarism. Those who talked about those fake issues don't even understand the meaning of the word.

Chris Matthews and his kind would be providing a much better service to those who get to ratify the process by actually talking about Obama's history in order that it may become less about the process, but more about those who would endorse a candidacy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Talent: Bana, Rhys Meyers and Thomas Jane

The portrait of the 18 year old Henry Tudor at his coronation belies the colourful, fascinating and monstrous monarch he was to become and with whom there seems to be endless fascination. It is Eric Bana who portrays Henry VIII in his latest depiction in the film The Other Boleyn Girl. It’s hoped that this is at least a cut above Showtime’s The Tudors.

Last year TV Critic, Melanie McFarland had this to say:

*Playing an outsize historical figure like this requires an actor who blows the role open, making his delivery reach out and grab you by the neck. Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons set the standard in Elizabeth I, last year's other, better, Tudor-related piece.

Rhys Meyers doesn't even compare. No one in the cast does, not even Sam Neill, who plays the two-faced Cardinal Wolsey, or Jeremy Northam as king's counsel Sir Thomas More. Anne Boleyn, one of the feistiest women of that era (Natalie Dormer), isn't much more than a girl with shiny hair, devastating eyes and a weirdly lopsided smile. That's enough to get her work in a Suave commercial, not in a heavy-duty historical series.

It's unfair to lay every fault on the actors when the dialogue is so insubstantial, verging on sophomoric and mawkish in a few exchanges. This really doesn't help The Tudors' heavy reliance on court intrigue. Court politics, no matter how complex, are dull to witness unless presented by performers who can spice up each declaration and maneuver with sparks and fire, spurred on by devastating turns of phrase to play with. Lacking those spices -- well, you get this, a jewel made of paste.

The Tudors' blunted performances would be easier to withstand if we could empathize with any of these characters. Yet there's not a single Everyman among these people, nobody with whom the commoners watching at home can connect. That is one thing Rome, with all its violence, gore and uneven appeal, was careful to provide, and it was enough to carry the series through two seasons.

In contrast, Henry's is a castle full of snotty jerks with a shrill, impish egomaniac at the center. Good luck trying to spend 10 hours with him and his lords- and ladies-in-waiting.

Lastly, aside from the major events, there's no reason to discuss the historical accuracy of The Tudors in detail, beyond saying that high school kids should not crib from it to write their papers. There's so much wrong with The Tudors that it's tough to figure out whom, exactly, it aims to seduce. The eye candy quickly loses its tang.

Anglophiles will scoff at the sloppiness with historical detail. Anyone else is going to be confused at why they're not seeing someone like Oliver Platt play Henry VIII as the mutton-chomping, ale-swilling despot with whom we're familiar. Compared to Rhys Meyers in The Tudors, it seems that the fat guy had more fun. Maybe Showtime would have been better off going with him.**

Henry VIII didn't become that "fat guy" until in his 40s when he became unable to engage in his many athletic activities. In his youth he was quite the image of male pulchritude. Quotes from the era--

“His Majesty is the hansomest potentate I ever set eyes on; above the usual height, with an extremely fine calf to his leg, his complextion fair and bright, with auburn hair, combed straight and short in the French fashion, and a round face so very beautiful that it would become a pretty woman, his throat was rather long and thick"

"He is very fond of hunting, and never takes his diversion without tiring eight or ten horses which he causes to be stationed beforehand along the line of country he means to take, and when one is tired he mounts another, and before he gets home they are all exhausted. He is extremely fond of tennis, at which game it is the prettiest thing in the world to see him play, his fair skin glowing through a shirt of the finest texture."

Perhaps Showtime was aiming for that image of the oft-married king in casting Rhys Meyers, who is, if nothing else, sensually gorgeous as is Bana. The story of the Tudors is very important and specifically that of Henry VIII who set much in motion at the onset of the Modern Era.

There have been many magnificent portrayals of King Harry and there will continue to be. He was lusty and powerful and something of a monster. In the future might we suggest as a possibility an actor who can easily portray the man in all aspects, Thomas Jane.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Moonday Tarot Meditation

This meditation was made in light of Wednesday's full moon and eclipse in Virgo, placing emphasis on retrograde Saturn in Virgo. Saturn is not necessarily the malefic capacity as portrayed in traditional astrology. More often than not, especially in Virgo, Saturn is about maturity, organization, focus and, above all, wisdom. Evolved Virgo is about reaping the benefits--a harvest with everything in its place.

The background for this reading, i.e. where it's coming from has to do with what is brought forth by the Prince of Wands.

In the Jungian interpretation: This is a thoughtful and observant young man, a good judge of people and of situations who finds it difficult to make cautious decisions; he usually acts before he thinks. His greatest strength is a finely tuned sensitivity to the feelings of those around him--especially insofar as those feelings affect him directly. He can be a caring and devoted friend who inspires affection as easily as he gives it. He loves to be in love, although he may be very fickle; he hates to be tied down to anyone or anything for very long. (Robert Wang)

This may seem antithetical to what Saturn is all about, but it is very Virgo in that it is very adolescent in its sensibility. Virgo is the perennial adolescent. Mercury rules there after all.

He is basically independent, but dislikes being alone. He enjoys being surrounded by many different people--who find him to be affectionate, outgoing and friendly ... [yet] not an emotionally secure person ... intelligent but undisciplined youth who would rather engage in play ... he is a daydreamer, a romantic who is sometimes off in a tfantsy world of his own creation.

Saturn comes in to play here to rein this in. Therefore ...

The Two of Wands/Rods has to do with invention/creativity in a sense marrying the free spirit of the prince with the maturity of Saturn in Virgo. This card is about creative genius and is exactly where we might be at this moment in the collective unconscious. Look about you. Where do we need to go? ... dedication and unshakable belief in a project brings results of pure brilliance. Interestingly enough as history has demonstrated ... the name of the inventor may be lost or obscured. It's all about where we need to go. And this is where we're going:

The Sun [Apollo] is the center of our physical solar system; it is the source of light and life ... Encounter of the Divine Boy, the Young God, may be an extraordinary meditative experience, particularly insofar as the work requires genuine control of irrational (dream quality) materials ... the chief task is the overcoming of darkness through the inner sunlight. This leads to the homosexual mysteries associated with this meditation in that they lead to transformation and maturation. From crystalinks.com:

Apollo, the eternal beardless youth himself, had the most male lovers of all the Greek gods, as could be expected from a god who was god of the palaestra, the athletic gathering place for youth, who all competed in the nude. Many of Apollo's young beloveds died "accidentally", a reflection on the function of these myths as part of rites of passage, in which the youth died in order to be reborn as an adult.

Hyacinth was one of his male lovers. Hyacinthus was a Spartan prince, beautiful and athletic. The pair were practicing throwing the discus when Hyacinthus was struck in the head by a discus blown off course by Zephyrus, who was jealous of Apollo and loved Hyacinthus as well. When Hyacinthus died, Apollo is said in some accounts to have been so filled with grief that he cursed his own immortality, wishing to join his lover in mortal death. Out of the blood of his slain lover Apollo created the hyacinth flower as a memorial to his death, and his tears stained the flower petals with, meaning alas. The Festival of Hyacinthus was a celebration of Sparta.

Acantha - One of his other liaisons was with Acantha, the spirit of the acanthus tree. Upon his death, he was transformed into a sun-loving herb by Apollo, and his bereaved sister, Acanthis, was turned into a thistle finch by the other gods.

Cyparissus - Another male lover was Cyparissus, a descendant of Heracles. Apollo gave the boy a tame deer as a companion but Cyparissus accidentally killed it with a javelin as it lay asleep in the undergrowth. Cyparissus asked Apollo to let his tears fall forever. Apollo turned the sad boy into a cypress tree, which was said to be a sad tree because the sap forms droplets like tears on the trunk.

The resolution for this meditaive period brings us here: Achievement. Satisfaction. Contentment. Joy. Material happiness. Happiness gained from appreciating the simple things in life. Love. Devotion. Engagement. Marriage. Warmth. Sincerity. A good friendship. Success, possibly after a period of uncertainty. Success in the arts. freedom. Liberation. The attention turns from the physical to the mental level. Consciousness of the spirit. [Tarot of the Old Path]

This is an important full moon this week. From novereinna.com: The Virgo Moon is a truth-seeking Moon. This Moon mentally uses what it learns and is suspicious of face value information, possessing a deep desire to carefully sort through all available data. It is a cautious and serious Moon, being also reserved, methodical, analytical and critical. The Virgo Moon is a perfectionist Moon, possessing perseverance and good organizational skills. A sense of being in control is vital to this Moon and the ability to understand the feelings of others may be difficult. The Virgo Moon harbors a deep-rooted need for the acknowledment of personal abilities.

The splendor of Apollo awaits.