Thursday, 30 October 2014

Drugs Kill: Rational Debate

Green MP Caroline Lucas has said "fear of the tabloids" has driven UK drug policy for the last few decades.

A group of backbenchers from all parties are urging the government to review the "failing" Misuse of Drugs Act, in a debate brought by Ms Lucas.

It comes as the Home Office publishes two separate reports into different approaches to drug misuse around the world and legal highs in the UK.

The Home Office has said it is not considering any shift in drugs policy...

Ms Lucas said successive governments had consistently refused to take an "evidence-based approach" out of "fear of the tabloids", while Labour's Paul Flynn said drug policy since 1971 had been "evidence-free and prejudice-rich"...



Well said, Caroline.

And well done to Norman Baker, the Lib Dem Home Office minister, for stating the obvious; the drug laws don't work. *

Surprisingly, this was broadly welcomed by the papers.

But fear not, narcophobes, a leading politician makes an intervention like this every few years, and nothing ever changes.


* Much of this debate has been around reducing drug use. Fagburn is all for reducing drug harm, but can't see why reducing having fun is a goal we should be pursuing.

PS If you're interested in evidence-rich and prejudice-free reporting on drugs and drug laws - and challenging media hysteria and lies - please read David Nutt's website, DrugScience.

Thankfully, the gay media never indulges in fact-free scaremongering about drugs...

Tim Cook: iGay

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Bloomberg Business Week.

'Hey, Tim Cook's come out!'

'He was in?!!'

'Yeah, I know. Can I have 400 words by 2pm?'

'The same think-piece we always run when a public figure comes out?'

'Yup.'

'So brave?'

'The times they are a-changing; gay marriage, Graham Norton, Tom Daley, the president of Iceland's a lesbian...'

'But is blank the last closet?'

'And we mustn't forget in Russia people are rounded up in concentration camps just for being gay.'

'Quick mention of Ray Cole in Morocco to make it sound topical...''

'That sort of thing, yeah. Then the inevitable hackneyed conclusion; I look forward to the day when this will not be news.'

'I'm on it, chief!'

Education: Is Gay

Teachers should work words like ‘gay’ into their lessons to fight homophobic bullying, an official report suggests.

Schools can make a ‘positive impact’ by incorporating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people into the curriculum from reception class up.

The study, commissioned by the Government Equalities Office and supported by the Department for Education, also highlights how staff can improve the ‘visibility’ of LGBT people in schools by discussing topics such as diver Tom Daley ‘coming out’ as gay.

The report’s authors suggest that children as young as four or five should be taught about LGBT issues.

The report was published yesterday as Education Secretary Nicky Morgan unveiled a £2million drive to tackle homophobic bullying...

Daily Mail.

Cause if there's one word you don't hear enough in our schools it's 'gay'.

Brilliantly trivialising framing of this important initiative by the Mail. 

Not sure I can handle reading the Mail Online readers' comments yet, but presumably it's mainly variations on this... 


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sir Elton: Arise Saint Francis!

Guardian.

Calm down, dear.

Keep yer 'air on (Sorry Reg, couldn't resist).

Catholic News Agency, Sunday

Syria: A Gay Guy In Beirut

The Arab Spring promised reform across the Middle East, but the turmoil is ongoing, including within the gay community.

Syrian refugees have fled to countries already facing major challenges, and often face discrimination not only because of their nationality, but their sexuality.

The BBC's James Longman went to Beirut, Lebanon, to hear some gay refugees' disturbing accounts of abuse.


BBC News.

There's a companion text article looking more broadly at gay life in the Middle East, though much of it reads like it was written from a distance after a quick Google.

The Western media doesn't have a very good record on reliable reporting about LGBT Syrians; you may remember the excited and widespread trumpeting of and reliance on the blog, A Gay Girl In Damascus - until it was exposed as being written by an American straight man in Edinburgh.

Oops!

Hollywood: A Normal Man

The problem isn’t just about the lack of gay characters and gay movies, it’s about the portrayal. Hollywood sees gays as the kind of camp caricatures you’d find in Modern Family and Adam Sandler movies – not “normal”. One of the best gay movies ever made, A Single Man, by fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford (himself a gay man) plays homosexuality as inconsequential. It is almost entirely irrelevant to the characters and how they lead their lives...

Sam Moore, New Statesman

Hard to know where to start with this one.

Err, yeah, if only the gay characters in Hollywood movies weren't quite so... gay.

Camp queens? I say BOO!!!

How in the name of buggery is homosexuality 'inconsequential' in A Single Man?

Did you not notice that it's the story of a gay man whose long-term boyfriend's died, who starts obsessing over a hot younger man?

In what possible way is their sexuality 'almost entirely irrelevant to the characters and how they lead their lives'?

Oh, and being queer is not 'normal', love - that's kinda the point.

Next week: Why oh why did they have to keep going on about that black fellow's race in 12 Years A Slave?

Mail Online: A Rare Moment Of Candour

Mail Online.

Oops! I appear to have accidentally cropped this headline a little too short.

The story is about a new MORI poll where people vastly overestimated the numbers of the unemployed, teenage pregnancies, Muslims and immigrants in the UK.

Can't imagine where people get these funny ideas from...

Marriage: Equalities Minister Might Support Equality Shocker

Nicky Morgan, the education secretary and equalities minister, has said she would vote in favour of gay marriage if she was given her chance again.

She said she had voted against gay marriage because the letters she had received from her constituents had been running 10 to 1 against, and she wished more people had lobbied her on the other side.

She was one of 175 MPs who voted against gay marriage at a time when she was not equalities minister, an appointment made when she was made education secretary in the summer.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 she said she would now vote in favour of gay marriage. She said: “I had a lot of constituents who asked me to vote in a particular way and I listened to them and it was an issue of conscience too, but I have certainly learned an awful lot doing this job,” she said on Wednesday morning.

“I think I probably would [vote in favour of gay marriage]. But at the end of the day, as a member of parliament, I’m also here to represent my constituents … I wish that people had come forward earlier to say: ‘Actually, we’d like you to support it.’

“I suppose for some people it was … obvious but actually I think it was something that we needed to discuss and to debate.”

At the time of her decision she told her local paper, the Leicester Mercury, not only that she had been lobbied hard by opponents of gay marriage, but that she also had her own principled objections.



Bizarre headline and framing by The Guardian; Nicky Morgan changes her mind on gay marriage - Equalities minister says she would now vote in favour of gay marriage if given the chance again.

She only said she 'probably would'. 

Also nice of Nicky to blame her constituents, not her own prejudice, sorry, 'principled objections'.

Nicky Morgan's looking a bit strange on Huff Post Gay

Johnny Weir: To Russia With Love


In the media frenzy leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, LGBT athletes and activists must choose whether to risk their own safety by speaking out against Russia's anti-gay laws. Cameras follow the experiences of outspoken figure skater and commentator Johnny Weir, tennis legend and official U.S. Olympic delegate Billie Jean King, as well as several openly gay Olympic hopefuls and Russian LBGT activists.

You can watch it here - Fagburn has no idea what it's like.

PS Unfortunately EPIX is only available in the United States and its territories.

Update: 'I wanted to have more of a complicated perspective on Russia from a gay sports celebrity who loves Russia and didn’t think of Russia in terms of binaries, like ‘Russia = bad for gays’ and leave it at that,” director and activist Noam Gonick on the Daily Beast.

AMERICAN GAYS NOT LIKE COMPLICATED! MUST BOMB RUSSIA! BURN JOHNNY WEIR! UGG! 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

How To Get Away With Murder: Top Or Bottom?


Seeing straight sex and romance represented on network TV is something heterosexual people have taken for granted, whether it's during a daytime soap opera or a prime-time drama. Worried about alienating audiences and advertisers, executives at the big networks have long trod this territory very carefully, erring on the use of benign depictions of gay couples and sexual encounters, if even shown at all.

Enter [Shonda] Rhimes' recent scene, which included two men enjoying anilingus, otherwise known as rimming. Believe or not, this may have been one of the best things to happen to television in a long time...


So it's a bums up from Mic.



I’ve kept up with HTGAWM so far not because it’s particularly good (Damages did the intimidating-yet-troubled HBIC, terrified-yet-ambitious underling, and mysterious-yet-intriguing flash-forward thing better back in 2007), but because the show is reportedly some kind of step forward in gay media representation. And, in its suggestion of same-sex analingus or showing of a fictionalized Grindr screen on primetime network television, that reputation may be earned to a degree. But the show’s depiction of gay sexuality, mainly through the adventures of first-year law student/dude whisperer Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), have thus far persistently contained a nasty strain of bottom shaming—and that kind of retrograde mess is not progressive in the least...

But it's bums down from Slate.

Fagburn will let you, the viewer, decide for yourself...

PS It's being shown in the UK on Universal Channel, btw.

Update: See also, How To Get Away With Murder is changing TV, E! Online. They also give us, Remember these LGBT firsts on TV? A clickthru photogallery of US shows. 

Clickbait Watch: The Independent

Paul Rudd was not, in fact, one of the "heroes" who tackled an angry man spouting homophobic expletives to the ground in Dallas Airport...


The story eventually concludes;

However, the actor’s spokesperson has since confirmed that, far from taking a stand, the actor actually sat idly by as the incident took place. Because the real Paul Rudd was probably thousands of miles away at the time.

"It was not Paul," they admitted.


This is clickbait at its worst - most Independent online readers would have seen this tease and assumed Rudd did sat idly by while a man got queerbashed.

Shaming, shameless and shameful. 

PS The gay media are always asking people to WATCH! an online video, telling us 'it will warm your heart' etc. This one actually will. 

Grindr: Your Actual Gay Art

Australian artist Adam Seymour, who describes himself as a “Homo Rural Ranga,” creates watercolor depictions of real profiles from the Grindr hook-up app.

“I began the project as I had become intrigued by the idea of our private worlds being made public through social media,” Seymour told BuzzFeed.

“We reveal our most wild, deviant, sexual, fantastical selves to the digital universe, for anyone to see, and yet, for some reason, maintain this subconscious expectation that only our desired audience will see it.”


BuzzFeed LGBT.

And in other Grindr news today...
Update: This week, lucky Grindr users in Arkansas found - fleetingly - this election ad from some homophobic Republican NRA (National Rifle Association) dude.

Read all about it on the Daily Beast!
A target audience?

The Times: They Are A-Changin' Etc Etc

Hostility to immigration is widespread, and on the rise. The defence secretary talks of parts of Britain being “swamped” by migrants and says that people feel “under siege” by them. And the papers are scattered with nasty little stories of prejudice: a bus driver throws gay people off his bus, a supermarket chucks them out of a shop.

So it is sometimes hard to remember that right here, right now is about as liberal and tolerant as the world has ever been, and that there is a good chance things will continue to go in the right direction.

To anybody who grew up in the 1970s, the change in attitudes to black, brown and gay people has been vast and astonishing. In my adolescence, attacks on people because of their sexuality or skin colour were regarded as regrettable but unsurprising. Homophobia was the norm in public life and the media. The Sun reported this joke: a gay man goes home to his parents and tells them he’s got good news and bad news. The bad news is I’m gay. The good news is I’ve got Aids...


That gay people are still occasionally abused in public is sad but not surprising. What’s more remarkable is the reaction to such incidents. In the case on the bus and the one in the supermarket, the companies involved grovelled and promised to investigate...

All the surveys of attitudes towards gays and people of other races have one result in common: young people are more tolerant than older people. Bigots are dying off. Today’s Britain is a nicer place than yesterday’s. Tomorrow’s will probably be better still.

The Times.

She's right that it's instructive that relatively minor incidents like the supermarket and bus same-sex kisses rows now make the national news.

Which is great news!

But what do Times readers think...

Migrant Watch: At Last! UK Gets Tough


BBC News front page.

You couldn't make it up etc etc.

Letter Of The Day: The Guardian

The Guardian.

A good example of how the media often misuse the term LGBT, showing how journalists let their newspaper's style guide override common sense.

Not sure about that last line though; 'if men are the problem...' The 'LGBT' in this story referred to the gay men being targeted by robbers, how are they a 'problem'?

PS Somehow managed to miss this Guardian online comment piece from last Friday by Patrick Strudwick, Yes, Dating Appa Are Bad For Gay Men - But Not In The Way You Might Think.

Apparently, gay men use apps like Grindr to find other men to have sex with based on what they look like and what they're into.

How awful of them - and who knew!!?

Monday, 27 October 2014

Fagburn: I'm Still Here

Sincere apologies - Fagburn was called away to London by the spirit voice of Regina Fong to see a young engineer of his acquaintance, and a transvestite potter.

He is now going through the last few days' papers to see what - if anything - of interest and import he missed.

These - again, if there are actually any - will be retroactively posted below on the day of publication.

PS This amusing/disturbing/sacrilegious/erotic/transphobic photomontage illustrates a silly article in today's Guardian; Tony Benn – the new face of the Tories No wonder our Thatcherite prime minister can’t win over much of his party on the European Union. They’re closet Bennites

Of course, that 'politician is Thatcher in drag' meme/trope will never get old...




Business News: Saved You A Click

Forbes.

Yes.

An interview with the convicted corporate killer and all-round cunt, Lord Browne, formerly CEO of BP.

“It’s about having good conversations with managers from the top to the bottom [Fnar fnar!]. CEOs are very good at talking about making their places of work inclusive. It’s about finding time to do something about inclusion, make it safe and allow people to be themselves.”

For that to happen, Browne believes more CEOs need to come out as gay and make a stand. “I don’t want to have the title of the most senior person in business to have come out as being gay,” he said. “I would like to lose that title.”



• With apologies to @SavedYouAClick.

Church News: You Sexy Dancer!

The Londoner, thumbing the Rev Richard Coles’s autobiography, found an intriguing passage about
his days with The Communards. “Wherever we went,” Coles writes, “Jimmy [Somerville] was fĂȘted by the gay community... in venues like the Nightingale in Birmingham or Rockshots in Newcastle, friendly, with go-go dancers in cages, one of whom I discovered years later was the Rev Giles Fraser, Canon of St Paul’s.”


Surely not! Intrigued, we pinged the open-minded Fraser pinged an email asking if he was a dancer. “Yep, I think I spent more time in Rockshots than I did in lectures when I was at university in Newcastle,” he recalled. “Did I dance in a cage? I can’t remember but I certainly wore some strange kit: bleached blond flat-top and a M&S plastic bag one night, I seem to remember. They were great days.”

The Londoner is jealous. It’s been years since we danced in a cage.



From last week, but only found by Fagburn during his recent sojourn to London. ^^^

And to think, some laugh at me for picking days-old newspapers off the floor and reading them!

And from a similarly yellowing Times' Diary...

Chris Bryant, the vicar turned MP, was talking to one of the TMS lackeys at the launch of Fathomless Riches, the memoir of the Rev Richard Coles, the pop star turned vicar, when out of nowhere during a chat about politics he named a famous gay actor and said: “I don’t think I’ve had sex with him.” My chap was nonplussed at the non sequitur but Bryant continued: “He says we’ve had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river.” Makes him sound like a carnal cabbie.

Michael Stipe: How Queer!

It’s been 20 years since I announced to the world that I was queer – and that I had found the strength and the voice to say that, and to move forward with my life as a completely out, publicly queer individual.

It was September 1994, and my band REM had released the two biggest records of our career. With Out of Time and Automatic for the People, we had sold more than 25m records worldwide, and we were ramping up to tour for the first time in five years. I was more famous than I could have ever imagined. For the promotion of our next album, Monster, and its world tour, I decided to publicly announce my sexuality. I said simply that I had enjoyed sex with men and women my entire adult life. It was a simple fact, and I’m happy I announced it...



Well done Michael!

Still seems shaming you can't say you're 'gay', though.

Someone describing themselves as 'queer' 25 years ago may have at least sounded transgressive and radical, but now... not so much.

PS Fagburn seems to recall a UK press release for REM's 2001 album, Reveal, trumpeting that Stipe had just come out. Who knew that it would carry on being such a great marketing tool?

PPS There are rumours Stipe has recently, secretly got gaymarried.

Picture Of The Day: Torovenado

A man dressed as a woman, carries a pig's head on a tray balanced on his head during the celebration of Torovenado, in honour of Masaya's patron saint, San Jeronimo, in Masaya, Nicaragua.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Stephen Gately: The Wages Of Sin

THE ex-male model who shared Stephen Gately’s final night has claimed that cops failed to quiz the Boyzone star’s husband about sex and drug-taking that took place.

Bulgarian Georgi Dochev, 30, said that vital information never emerged due to an “amateurish” Spanish police inquiry...

Georgi alleged that Andrew did not go into details about sex and drugs on the fatal night in October 2009 “as he knew Stephen was famous and probably did not want to embarrass his family”...

Georgi broke his silence after Stephen’s family told The Sun on Sunday they wanted a new probe into the singer’s death.

The waiter, who first met Stephen and Andrew hours before the tragedy, told for the first time how the three men headed to the Black Cat club in Majorca after meeting at a gay bar at 1am.

He said: “There are things that have never been made public about the night Stephen died like the fact I saw him going into a toilet cubicle at the Black Cat with three well-known local drug dealers.
“I also saw him go into a room we called the ‘Dark Room’ where you could get up to anything you wanted.” 

The three then went to Stephen’s apartment at 5am where the star rolled and smoked a cannabis joint...

The ever-reliable The Sun On Sunday.

Giorgi: Hope they paid you well. 
Now, whilst Fagburn is not a forensic pathology expert, like that Amanda Burton off the telly, he is pretty sure you can't die from your boyfriend allegedly visting a back room, or from you smoking cannabis.

Nor can these be contributing factors to anything ever.

Still, it's this whole sordid gay lifestyle that surely caused this strange, lonely and troubling death, eh?

Matthew Shepard: Rises Again

The Observer.

The book this is based on, The Story Of Matt, came out over a year ago.

The Guardian first wrote about it in October 2013.

Fagburn wrote about the problems many had with both the book and the Matthew Shepard 'hate crime' case here.

Many of the book's allegations have been circulating since right after his death - and were examined 15 years ago in a thoughtful, lengthy Vanity Fair article by Melanie Thernstrom, The Crucifixion Of Matthew Shephard.

And in a three-part series for Harper's in 1999 by JoAnn Wypijewski, A Boy's Life.

So why is The Observer publishing this article now?

And why is Bindel - valiant attacker of smears on the character of rape victims - so quick, and yet so slow, to give credence to those against the murdered Shepard, and on blaming the victim?

Hmm...

PS A reply to JB, The Story Of Matt as a work of fiction by Media Matters.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Disgustings: Yup

The Disgustings from jordan firstman on Vimeo.

Pierce is an egocentric complainer. Daryl is a judgmental ruthless witch. They are best friends. Together, they are "The Disgustings". In this comedic short film, Pierce and Daryl go through their seemingly lovely day while decimating every person, creation, or ideal they can get their words on. Through their interactions with different humans, they begin to examine the notion that they might not be better than the world...

A puckish satire on contemporary rich gay LA life.

Fagburn senses the influence of Curb - pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Well, it's okay, really.

Albert Wertheimer: 1929-2014

Albert Wertheimer took an estimated 2,500 photos of Elvis in eight days in 1956.

Thus securing the young punk's reputation as the most hauntingly beautiful narcissus of all-time.

Thank you.
x

• The Wertheimer Collection.

Graham Norton: How The Media Works Part 669

You’ve been kissed and told on, I say. “Twice,” Norton says. How was that? “The first time was fine. That was Scott [Michaels]. My agent and I negotiated his deal. He’d been approached by somebody. I said, ‘How much have they offered you? Well, that’s not enough. We’ll get you more than that.’ I didn’t take a cut, but I did have picture approval, so it was all good. The second time was … disappointing.”

[Trevor] Patterson’s story of woe detailed Norton’s heavy boozing and his obsession with his dogs; scurrilous highlights included the time Norton chartered a private jet to fly Madge and Bailey to New York where he was working at that point, because he missed them.

Did you know the story was coming? “Yeah.” How did you react? “I got some stuff taken out. But you know, I could have stopped it. I thought, better not to.” Why? “It’s a … revealing thing to do.” Sell a story on an ex-lover? “Yes. Why hide that?” 

Patterson is not mentioned in Norton’s new book...

The Times - great interview btw.

Shoot credits

Photographed at the Milestone Hotel in London


Styling: Prue White

Grooming: Shukeel Murtaza at Phamous using Bumble and Bumble
Pyjamas, £264, and red dressing gown, £728, both Derek Rose; gold dressing gown, £1,850, New & Lingwood 

Nike the dog from A-Z Animals

Friday, 24 October 2014

Diana Ross & The Supremes: Someday We'll Be Together


Reasons why this is the greatest record ever made.

1. The other Supremes, Cindy and Mary, don't actually sing on it.

2. After its release Diana, ironically, fucked off and went solo.

3. Johnny Bristol's vocals were recorded by accident.

4. It was the final US number one of the 60s (in the UK, this was Two Little Boys by R**f H*****s).

5. It's rather obviously about socialism.

6. And it makes me think of you.

Have a romantic weekend.
x

Fagburn: Solipsism

EQ View.

This man sounds like a complete idiot.

Grayson Perry Watch: Irony Lost

ARTIST Grayson Perry has included The Sun in his latest giant artwork – declaring we are a “definitive” part of Britain.

The huge Comfort Blanket piece – unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in central London – is filled with what the Turner prize-winning star says define Britain.

The Sun sits alongside other British icons including the Queen, Top Gear, fish and chips and the Proms.


But there is no room for the Mirror or the Star.


Cross-dresser Grayson said: "I wanted to include The Sun as it is a big part of Britain. It is a definitive part of our country."

The piece is part of Grayson’s Who Are You? collection unveiled to coincide with his new Channel 4 series, which launched last night.

Grayson also created a vase based around disgraced Lib Dem politician Chris Huhne – which he covered in images of a penis.

Grayson said the work had repeated imprints of a willy as it was what got Huhne into trouble in the first place.

He revealed how Huhne wanted to buy the work - although it has been valued at more than £100,000.


Religious News: LOL!!!



Daily Mail.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Fagburn: In The Absence Of News


Well, there you go!

Let the record show, Fagburn also has no 'strong opinions' on this important matter of the day.