Saturday, 1 October 2016

Arthur Russell: Vanished Into Music

The writer Olivia Laing presents an imaginative portrait of Arthur Russell.

Arthur Russell was a cellist, a composer, a songwriter and a disco auteur. He was active in the New York downtown scene of the 1970s and was a frequent collaborator with the likes of Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass. Although extremely prolific, his inability to finish projects is often cited as part of the reason that very little of his music was released during his lifetime.

When Arthur Russell died in 1992 his Village Voice obituary read, "Arthur's songs were so personal that it seems as though he simply vanished into his music."

Please listen to this beautiful programme about Arthur Russell and his beautiful music on BBC iPlayer.

NB The actual opening description in the programme is; 'His name is Arthur Russell. He's 35. He's a gay man, a Buddhist, a cellist, a country singer, an avant garde composer, a disco queen. He's the greatest musician you've never heard of.'

Why did the BBC website delete the gay stuff?

PS Watch David Byrne, Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg chat about their friend and collaborator Arthur.

Queer Progress: From Homophobia To Homonationalism

From its beginning – a carefully written review of key concepts such as materialism, liberalism, Keynesian economics, and gay liberation – it’s clear that Queer Progress is in the business of analysis as much as it is about telling a crucial story. But the two aspects are thoughtfully intertwined, with McCaskell identifying examples of, say, left opportunism at work in the disruptions of gay conferences by revolutionary Marxist groups, or early rhetorical shifts toward respectability and away from sexual liberation.

The latter implies the book’s central question: where and how did a movement that vociferously defended sexual deviance, and that universally distrusted the state, get replaced by a politics that shies away from radical sexuality and unquestioningly lauds a wonky, government-approved vision of gay rights? A queer sort of “progress” indeed...

Queer Progress: From Homophobia To Homonationalism, Tim McCaskell (Between The Lines).

Julien Macdonald: Unlike You

He studied at Brighton Art College - and he was an annoying ugly prissy pissy queen then, too.


Hillary Clinton: Power Bottom Indeed

In an email sent to his business partner and Democratic fundraiser Jeffrey Leeds, former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote of Hillary Clinton, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”

Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s first term was an unmitigated disaster for many nations around the world. Neither the Donald Trump campaign nor the corporate media have adequately described how a number of countries around the world suffered horribly from Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.

Millions of people were adversely harmed by Clinton’s misguided policies and her “play-to-pay” operations involving favors in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.

Here is a before and after chart illustrating, country by country, the destabilizing effects of Clinton’s policies as Secretary of State...

Her neo-conservative neo-imperialism has fucked over at least 27 countries, fags adoration of this evil woman appals me.

Hari Kunzru: On Cultural Appropriation

Clearly, if writers were barred from creating characters with attributes that we do not “own” (gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so on), fiction would be impossible. Stories would be peopled by clones of the author. Since trespassing into otherness is a foundation of the novelist’s work, should we restrict ourselves in some way, so as to avoid doing violence to those who identify with our characters? The injunction to refrain from “cultural appropriation” sounds like a call for censorship, or at best a warning to self-censor, an infringement of the creative liberty to which so many surprising people profess themselves attached.

It is true that the politics of offence are used to shut down dissident voices of all kinds, frequently in minority communities, and the understanding of culture as a type of property to which ownership can be definitively assigned is, at the very least, problematic. Should the artist go forth boldly, without fear? Of course, but he or she should also tread with humility. Note that I do not say, “with care”. I don’t believe any subject matter should a priori be off limits to anyone, or that harm necessarily flows from the kind of ventriloquism that all novelists perform. Quite the opposite. Attempting to think one’s way into other subjectivities, other experiences, is an act of ethical urgency. For those who have never experienced the luxury of normativity, the warm and fuzzy feeling of being the world’s default setting, humility in the face of otherness seems like a minimal demand. Yet it appears that for some, the call to listen before speaking, to refrain from asserting immediate authority, is so unfamiliar that it feels outrageous. I’m being silenced! My freedom is being abridged! Norm is unaccustomed to humility because he has grown up as master of the house. All the hats are his to wear. For the deviant others, who came in by the kitchen door, it has always been expected, even demanded...

Guardian Books.

Other authors' opinions are available.

Into The Outside: The Story So Far

Into the Outside is a major, multi-partner heritage-learning project with local young people, re-examining the city’s rich LGBTQ+ past and creating a new archive of queer youth experiences.

The exhibition charts the progress of the project and includes creative writing, photography and archive material.

Supported by respected photographer Helen Cammock, young participants are examining how issues faced today by young people identifying as LGBTQ+ compare with those faced by young LGBTQ+ people over the past forty years.

Participants are exploring a range of archive materials, including the National Lesbian and Gay Survey – an extraordinary collection of autobiographical writing and ephemera submitted by over 700 people between 1986 and 1994.

A collaboration with the Mass Observation Archive, Brighton & Hove Libraries Service, the East Sussex Record Office and Queer in Brighton.

University of Brighton Galleries – Grand Parade, 58-67 Grand Parade BN2 0JY. 1st October to 30th October. Free.

Download the beautiful exhibition guide here.

Friday, 30 September 2016

United Nations: Protection

The UN Human Rights Council has appointed its first independent investigator to help protect homosexual and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination.

The United Nations expert Vitit Muntarbhorn will have a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

Mr Muntarbhorn is an international law professor at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and has served on several UN bodies, including inquiries on Syria and as a special rapporteur on North Korea.

The UN agreed on the new role in June, after the 47-member council overcame strong objections by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries to adopt a Western-backed resolution by a vote of 23 states in favour and 18 against with six abstentions.

Human Rights Watch welcomed Friday's appointment, saying the UN council “made history”...

Well, it's certainly a better idea than thinking countries will like being bossed around by 'enlightened' America, but how is this going to work exactly?

Swiss Army Man: Gay Necrophilia

At one stage, it seemed as if the movie was going to be a traditional(ish) love story – Hank finds Manny, who helps guide him towards the woman he adores. But as it went on, it became apparent that it was something quite different – more about the relationship between the two male characters, and about loneliness. Was that always your intent?

In some ways, we thought we were making a more conventional guy trying to get back to his girl story. But the more drafts we wrote, the more we realised… it sounds stupid when writers say “I listening to my character”, but that’s how it ended up happening. We could tell that Hank and Manny needed each other more than Hank and Sarah ever did. We just kept rewriting and rewriting, until we allowed them to fall in love. And once we allowed ourselves to write that, that story really started to grow and blossom into something worthwhile.'

So that was a really interesting turning point – when we let Hank and Manny fall in love and accidentally made a gay necrophilia movie.' ...

Director Daniel Kwan, Telegraph.

Better known as 'the farting corpse film'.

Ofcom: How Rude

The watchdog found that television viewers and radio listeners were more likely to tolerate swearing if it reflected 'real world' situations. Of the swear words deemed 'milder', the study found they were 'generally of little concern' if used to express strong emotion or as a light-hearted insult.

The Ofcom report said: 'Many of these were thought to be in common use, including in front of children, and therefore mostly acceptable before the watershed.'

Derogatory language used to describe older people, including 'coffin dodger' and 'old bag', was deemed mild and 'not considered problematic by most'. Other words such as ginger or gay were only considered a problem if they were used as a derogatory term.

Viewers were less tolerant of swear words linked to body parts, or of religious insults or racist or homophobic language. The religious terms were included because of their use as expletives, not because of their use in a religious context...

Daily Mail.

Ofcom media release - and their hilarious list of offensive words and gestures from arse to whore.

We get our own list...

Boy George: Getting Away With It

Daily Star.

Cause mobile phones has cameras.

That's basically all he says in a brief interview at the Bit Awards - which were in February.

Alan Carr: Simply The Best


Sorry about you having t meet Dan Wootton.

PS She's got a book out, Alanatomy. So expect her to be everywhere next month.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Tom Of Finland: Your Actual Gay Art And Culture

Justin Bieber: Porn Star

Via Instinct.

The offer to the Biebs of $2 million to make a gay porn film was nothing but a PR stunt, obvs.

Worked though.

PS This would be AMAZING!

Cliff Richard: 'A Cloud Has Lifted'

BBC Radio 2 interview.

Big Brother: Wedding Balls

Not really sure who those two are, tbh, but I'm sure this marriage will last til death do them part.

Advertising: Toy Story

According to just about all gay media  this ad for Smyths, an American toy store, 'helps smash gender stereotypes'.

If you say so.

Deep Water: The Real Story

Guardian Australia.

This is fascinating.

I don't know if either of these programmes will be shown in the UK.

Church Times: Son Of A Preacher Man


That's nice, dear.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Peter Tatchell: The Case For The Defence


It's actually planned as a defence of Saint Peter against his critics in the media etc.

Though I can't recall one critical piece written about this 'national treasure' in all the years I've been doing Fagburn.

It tends to be ordinary gay men - especially those on the left and/or who've tried to work with his mad vanity and ego - that think he's become a joke.

But please give generously.

Rainbow Flag: The Space Between Your Ears

Gay Star News.

Sorry, what's the point of this?

I don't understand the point.

What is the fucking point, please?

Roger Casement: Martyr

Guardian Books.

Think this was settled some time ago, dear.

Jeremy Corbyn: On Langston Hughes

As the great American poet Langston Hughes put it: “I see that my own hands can make the world that’s in my mind”.

PS JC tells Theresa May to read Oscar Wilde's De Profundis. So glad we've got a socialist literary fag hag leading the Labour Party. It feels like home again now. x

Bradley & Ottavio: State Of This

X Factor duo Bradley and Ottavio have claimed they were booted from Channel 4's Coach Trip because of 'homophobic bullying', according to a report.

The hopefuls - who made it through to Judges' Houses after Louis Walsh's controversial decisions saw him swap several groups during the Six Chair Challenge - have independently appeared on several reality shows including Channel 5's Strip Date and X Factor for a second time.

While on Channel 4's popular daytime show however, when they featured together, they were booted off after contestants deemed their behaviour to be 'irresponsible'.

Speaking about the departure, the pair have claimed there was much more to it, claiming the contestants were being homophobic, stating they wanted to 'get the gays out next'...


Could be justified here.

Coming Out: Jeffrey Weeks

From the barbaric legal and social oppression of the nineteenth century to the seismic impact of the gay liberation movement in the 1970s and beyond, COMING OUT maps the story of British LGBT identities and the ongoing struggle for equality. A compassionate and moving social history written in an open and accessible way, it lucidly illustrates the resilience and grit of the LGBT community in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Originally published to great acclaim in 1977 as a pioneering study of gay and lesbian lives, this classic prize-winning title is newly reissued in a revised and updated edition at a time when LGBT issues are a matter of national importance. As a gay activist and campaigner, Jeffrey Weeks has been on the frontline of the fight for equality for decades.

The third edition of Coming Out, the best history of homosexuality in Britain by far.

Matt Irwin: GHB GBH

A PHOTOGRAPHER whose showbiz pals included Rita Ora, Kylie Minogue and members of One Direction killed himself with a lethal dose of a party drug known as liquid ecstasy after splitting from his boyfriend, an inquest heard.

Matt Irwin, 36, said he could no longer “look himself in the mirror” in a suicide note on his laptop before taking a lethal dose of GHB...


Gay Media: Going Going...

Multimedia Platforms, the owner of LGBT publications in New York, Florida, and California, has apparently ceased operations.

Staffers have been terminated, and there will be no print issues this week of its publications, which include Next Magazine in New York City, Agenda Florida,and Frontiers in L.A., South Florida Gay News reports...

But which gay publication will be next?

Tick tick tick...

PS I seriously doubt they'll be a proper gay magazine still doing a print edition in a few years time.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Marilyn: Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

Lovely interview with the real Peter Robinson by Alexis Petridis.

Corbyn: Mandy Speaks!

Oh do shut up, you awful right wing old queen.

And stop yer botox and bad hair-dye job.

Cliff Richard: Case Upheld

What a monumental waste of time and money this has been.

Calum McSwiggan: Another Gay Victimhood Hoaxer Fights On

YouTube star Calum McSwiggan denies lying to police about an assault in LA.

King Cobra: Trailer

Oh my god, this looks good.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Naked Men

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s dad beat him with a belt when he was a boy – because he thought he was gay.

The love-cheat revealed on US TV: “He ran after me with a belt and beat me.”

And the Terminator star said his mum asked a doctor for help because she was worried there was “something off”.

Arnie, who admit-ted he betrayed wife Maria Shriver, 56, with a string of other women, said: “I don’t know if mum thought I was gay, or if she just thought there was something off. And ‘let’s catch it early’.

“She asked the doctor, ‘Can you help me? I don’t know if there’s something wrong with my son because his wall is full of naked men.

"All of Arnold’s friends have pictures of girls above their bed. And Arnold has no girls.’” ...

Monday, 26 September 2016

Banned Books Week: The Final Countdown

As the American Libraries Association’s annual celebration of the right to read kicks off, take a look through the titles most frequently ‘challenged’ in 2015, and some of the reasons behind the calls to ban them...

Matt Hancock MP: Cock Gobbler

Actual 2015 election leaflet.
An MP managed to deliver an entire speech with a straight face, despite staring at the words ‘cock gobbler’ throughout.

Matt Hancock, the Tory MP for West Suffolk and minister for Digital and Culture, was addressing an audience at the Radio Academy’s Radio Festival when he revealed that his teleprompter was stuck.

‘You’re obviously getting me upset because it just says, in large letters, “cock gobbler” under the… *audience laughter*,’ Hancock said.

‘I have managed to do a whole speech without getting distracted by it.’

We assume he kept a face as straight as this one the whole time:

The Telegraph’s media reporter Patrick Foster then tweeted: ‘Due to screen malfunction, Matt Hancock has just given an entire speech at the Radio Festival, staring into the words “cock gobbler”.’

He later added: ‘For context, Matt Hancock had “cock gobbler” in front of him because previous speaker Scott Mills had been airing poultry-based innuendo.’

Hmm. We were wond. [Sic. Online media's lack of proofreaders comedy classic].


The Lost Boys: A Tale Of Two Coreys

Well, this is depressing.

Think we can guess who the abusive "Hollywood star" is - probably not an actor.

Turner Prize: Big Bottom

Untitled work by Turner Prize nominee Anthea Hamilton.

Gay Star News: Hooray For The IDF!

GSN has to be the most politically disgusting right-wing power serving gay publication ever.

The IDF is a conscript army dedicated to evicting and killing Palestinians, you fucking gaytard.

Pride Of Place: Commemorating The Closet

An interesting piece by Dora Mortimer.

PS And should Rimbaud and Verlaine's house in Camden have a blue plaque?

Biggins: Ofcom

Ofcom are duty bound to "investigate" anything some people complain about, even if it's only 20.

This is sort of meaningless really.

Will & Grace: Tease

US magazine.
Oh please no!

Maybe if it was Jack & Karen it might be just about bearable.

Update: It gets worse, apparently they're doing it to get people to vote for Hillary.