Saturday, 30 April 2011

So Anyway: Anarchists In Love

Just got in.
Managed to avoid all that.
Spent yesterday with my friend, Peter, it was his birthday - and Colin Spencer (See above), now a quite amazing and cool 78.
Much love.


Friday, 29 April 2011

The Guardian: Letter To The Editor

As the Metropolitan police have said people protesting against the royal wedding could be arrested under the Public Order Act, perhaps your ads for Unroyal Wedding T-shirts should have a warning attached.
As people who wish to abolish the monarchy are, of course, pro-democracy campaigners, the Met's decision is quite shameful. Perhaps the UK could ally itself with the Arab spring?
I like the sound of the Royal Zombie Flashmob organised by Queer Resistance – could the Met confirm if dressing up as a zombie is to be a criminal act?

Richard Smith
From The Guardian.

•  On the "absurd claims" that 2 billion people will be watching the wedding on TV see this letter to Media Guardian last Monday.

Update: The cops did try and arrest people - fucking hell!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bradley Manning: "Media Day"

"Today the Army is hosting a ‘Media Day’ at the prison where Private First Class (Pfc.) Bradley Manning, the Army soldier accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks, is being held. Pfc. Manning was moved to the Joint Regional Correctional Facility, Ft. Leavenworth from the Marine Corp Brig Quantico following criticism of his treatment there which may have violated his constitution rights.
"Instead of answers and accountability for the potential mistreatment of Pfc. Manning, the Department of Defense only offers fake transparency in the form of a guided tour of his new prison. Instead of responding to criticism from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Army will offer the media a scripted fantasy of Manning’s brand new facility. With this stunt, it is clear that the Department of Defense and the Army are more concerned with public relations than the rights and security of Pfc. Manning.
"This fake transparency ignores the central question: How was Pfc. Manning treated during his long, solitary pretrial confinement at Quantico? What is his mental state after suffering the indignity of being left naked for an undetermined period of time, and after being continually disrupted in the manner of a continuous interrogation?
"If it is determined that there has been a deliberate effort to break Pfc. Manning physically and/or mentally prior to his trial or subvert his rights in any way, then the news media, which is participating in the public relations exercise today at Ft Leavenworth could become complicit in a cover up.
"The Department of Defense must grant my legitimate request to meet with Pfc. Bradley Manning and fully answer serious questions about his treatment.
"I urge the news media not to be taken in by this contrived pretention of transparency. The American people rely on the news media to investigate the cover up of abuses, not tell us about the nice, new prison the Army has built."

US Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) [Pictured right - and one of the good guys] writing on Daily Kos.
After the tour the US Army announced Manning is now considered a "medium custody" prisoner, which means from tomorrow he is allowed three hours of recreation a day, he can interact with other prisoners, receive Army inspected mail, make phone calls, visit the prison library, and meet with pre-approved visitors.

Bradley Manning Support Network. For latest news follow Bradley Manning UK on Twitter.
Postal address: Bradley Manning, 830 Sabalu Road, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027, USA.

Tyler The Creator: "I'm Stupid"

"It hurts me when people can't see beyond the first layer. They don't listen to the word play, or the patterns we use in the song, or the vocabulary we use. They just look at the word 'sodomise,' or 'rape,' or 'bitch' or some shit, and just go like 'Oh my god, did you hear what he just said?' No, did you hear how he said it? The terms he used to say it?
"A lot of people take stuff too seriously. So some of the time it's actually for them, my subconscious doing it on purpose, just to piss them off. I want people to take that stuff too seriously, especially shit like that. But, just, whatever. I try to preach be yourself and do what you want. It's not our fault if they're fucking dumb enough to believe this shit ... I just turned 20. I'm just living life and having as much fun as I can. I don't think about shit like that.
"I'm not homophobic. I just think faggot hits and hurts people. It hits. And gay just means you're stupid. I don't know, we don't think about it, we're just kids. We don't think about that shit. But I don't hate gay people. I don't want anyone to think I'm homophobic. [His friend Jasper walks into the room] But he's a fucking faggot!"

Tyler The Creator, Odd Future, interviewed in the NME.

Two weeks ago Sara - of Tegan And Sara fame - wrote in an open letter posted on their blog;
"While an artist who can barely get a sentence fragment out without using homophobic slurs is celebrated on the cover of every magazine, blog and newspaper, I'm disheartened that any self-respecting human being could stand in support with a message so vile.
“As journalists and colleagues defend, excuse and congratulate 'Tyler, The Creator', I find it impossible not to comment. In any other industry would I be expected to tolerate, overlook and find deeper meaning in this kid's sickening rhetoric? Why should I care about this music or its 'brilliance' when the message is so repulsive and irresponsible?"
"Is Tyler exempt because people are afraid of a backlash? The inevitable claim that detractors are being racist, or the brush-off that not 'getting it' would indicate that you’re 'old' (or a faggot?) Because, the more I think about it, the more I think people don't actually want to go up against this particular bully because he's popular."
Tylet tweeted his reply; "If Tegan And Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!"

Boyz Magazine: Royal Wedding Souvenir Edition

You may have hoped this celebration of tomorrow's cavalcade of crapola was ironic, but I can't see a single shred of it.
"Highlights" of this week's Boyz magazine include a letter from 'The Office of Prince William Of Wales' ("Warmest thanks and best wishes..."), 'A Right Royal Wedding Round-up ("This Friday is going to be all about bunting, beer and bridal gowns..."), and - best of all - a column where "Scene Queen" Dusty O "tells us why she's been a lifelong royalist."
"I have great respect and admiration for real royalty. I feel it's an essential proclamation of British identity in a time where national characteristics are dosed down to fit in with a more PC policy peddled by the left."
Wait, there's more...
"Her majesty has dedicated her whole life to serving her nation. In a time where we seem to have fostered, on certain levels, a work-shy subculture of people dependent on benefits, with the kind of attitude that expects the state to provide for them [!!!!! - Fagburn], I personally see her as a shining light of a work ethic and dedication to duty we seem to have partially lost from modern culture..."
Oh do fuck off.

• Don't forget tomorrow's Royal Zombie Flash Mob organised by Queer Resistance, and the protest against the invitation to seven royal tyrants outside Buckingham Palace at 2pm today organised by Justice For Bahrain.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Life After Death

Solving the problems of philosophy once is quite something, but solving them twice? Now that is unique. After a spell in engineering, the young Ludwig Wittgenstein had his first go, tracing the limits of language to provide a cocksure account of what could be said with any meaning. The rest, said the last line of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, "one must pass over in silence". The author planned to do just that, packing his bags to work in an Austrian primary school. He stopped penning difficult words, and instead published a manual for children about how to spell them. But the meditative itch returned after he noticed the semantics of colour didn't fit with his grand model of meaning. He was soon back in Cambridge, with Keynes writing: "God has arrived. I met him on the 5.15 train." An otherworldly appearance fed this caricature, as did the monastic digs and the band of disciples. Wittgenstein would harangue them to quit the academy and do something useful, like grinding lenses in Omsk. A newly discovered archive from the most devoted of the devotees, Francis Skinner, will illuminate the relationships of the master's "wonderful life", as well as the emergence of his later thought. It uses weird images (beetles in boxes) and off-the-wall questions (can dogs have headaches?) to expose ontological anxieties as mere confusions, produced by entanglement in words. Ill at ease with modern life, he tried dissolving that with language too. Encountering a jukebox at the end of his life, he asked "what, pray, is a juke?"

In Praise Of... Wittgenstein. The Guardian.
The Guardian is full of praise for Wittgenstein at the moment.
Yesterday it published a lengthy and rather touching article on the lost archive and his romance with Francis Skinner.
Interesting how the circumstances of the archive's composition and disappearance allow writers to foreground Wittgenstein's homosexuality.
Today's In Praise Of... is accompanied by Mark Brown's short tribute/explainer, Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Philosopher of Many Talents'.
"He may have been one of the 20th century's greatest philosophers – perhaps the greatest..."

• Lengthy article on the University of Cambridge website on the archive and "The p[ink Book".

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Glee: "The Gayest High School In The History Of Mankind"

"This is Ryan Murphy's latest depraved initiative to promote his gay agenda.
"[William McKinley high school] is the gayest high school in the history of mankind.
"This is clearly Ryan Murphy's vision of what growing up should be, not most of America's. It's a high school most parents would not want to send their kids to."

Dan Gainor, culture critic for fundamentalist Christian gasbags, Media Research Center, whines to order on ABC News about the Born This Way 90 minute special episode of Glee, which was broadcast in the US last night.
I bet the silly old sausage hasn't actually seen it.

• And here's a clip of Blaine serenading Kurt from last night's show - which, admittedly, does make it look like the gayest high school in the history of mankind. Awww...

Update: Fox News Asks: Is Glee Gay Propaganda?
I was really hoping someone would ask this, and am so glad it was Fox News.

Second Annual Fagburn Advertising Awards: Tits And Teeth

This is an ad seen on South Florida Gay News.
Yup, it's an ad for a dentist - a dentist! - where you can see a man's tits, but you can't see his teeth.
Gay genius!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Queerty: She's Coming Back!

Good news - after announcing it was closing two weeks ago, a message on their front page announces; "Queerty is coming back!"
More when we hear it...

An Open Letter To The John Snow Public House

On the evening of Wednesday 13 April 2011, Jonathan Williams, 26, and James Bull, 23, were asked to leave the John Snow public house for kissing while on their first date. A member of staff allegedly described the couple’s behaviour as obscene and evicted them from the establishment.

The media have reported several accounts of this incident. The general consensus has been that the couple's behaviour was entirely appropriate for a couple enjoying their first romantic evening together.

The strength of feeling that this mistreatment of a gay couple raised in London’s LGBT community was such that in the course of less than 30 hours, a gay kiss-in was organised with several hundred participants at the John Snow on the evening of 15 April 2011. Another kiss-in followed the next week on 21 April 2011. Rather than allow the LGBT protesters into or around the pub, the John Snow closed its doors on both of these evenings.

Despite several attempts at contacting the management of the John Snow, as well as the Samuel Smith Old Brewery, which owns the pub, neither the pub nor the brewer have released any comment, statement or apology to this date.

While we agree that any establishment is entitled to refuse entry, and/or the provision of goods and services to individuals they deem unsuitable or inappropriate, if this refusal is motivated by a person’s sexual orientation (real or perceived) it contravenes the Equality Act of 2010. This legislation came into force in October 2010 to prevent any business discriminating on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, disability, religion or ethnicity, or against pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

Anyone found to be the victim of discrimination on those grounds could be considered liable for compensation from the venue that discriminates against them.

We, the undersigned, therefore ask that the John Snow management, and/or the Samuel Smith Old Brewery issue a statement:

1/ specifying exactly why Mr. Jonathan Williams and Mr. James Bull were asked to leave the John Snow public house on the 13 April 2011.

2/ clearly stating the venue and company’s compliance with and commitment to the Equality Act of 2010.

3/ officially apologising to Mr. Jonathan Williams and Mr. James Bull

Continued silence on this matter by both the John Snow Pub and the Samuel Smith Old Brewery can only be seen by the public as acquiescence to the fact that discrimination had taken place, something that is likely to damage the reputation of the business. Direct actions will continue against this pub until it, or the brewery has started to engage in the meaningful and respectful dialogue that we believe this serious matter warrants.

You can sign an online petition via Facebook.

Gay Adoption: Catholic Care Still Don't

"A Catholic charity which wants exemption from equality laws which would force it to provide its adoption services to gay couples has had its latest appeal rejected.
"Catholic Care, which is based in the Diocese of Leeds, has spent more than two years arguing it will have to give up its work finding homes for children if it has to comply with recent equality regulations which prohibit discrimination against same-sex couples wanting to adopt.
"The complex legal debate ended up in the High Court last year before it was referred back to the Charity Commission which again refused to back Catholic Care's stance.
"A tribunal [The Charity Tribunal] dismissed the charity's appeal, supporting the Charity Commission's ruling.
"...the panel said it had to balance the risk of closure of the charity's adoption service - which it said was 'by no means certain' - against the 'detriment to same-sex couples and the detriment to society generally of permitting the discrimination proposed'..."

Press Association.
According to the report on Third Sector Catholic Care can appeal again.
Fagburn on the myths and maths of adoption agency closures here.

Ralphi Rosario & Wayne G featuring Stewart Who? - Bitch

'Bitch' by Ralphi Rosario & Wayne G feat. Stewart Who? from Stewart Who on Vimeo.

Is this the song of the year?
"Dirty hustling bitch!"

Royal Wedding: Who Cares?

"Two thirds of the British public are largely indifferent or don’t care at all about the royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, according to opinion polls. One third of municipalities have no applications for officially encouraged royal wedding street parties and nearly two thirds have very few. There is no great public enthusiasm for William and Kate’s nuptials. Most people don’t hate the royals, but neither do they love them. Monarchy is losing its luster. It’s fast becoming just another strand of celebrity culture and soap opera.
"William and Kate have gay friends but don’t publicly acknowledge them. Members of the royal family who are gay or bisexual hide in the closet and have sham marriages, despite most of the British public accepting LGBTI people and LGBTI equality. What’s the problem with this backward royal family?
"Of course, I wish William and Kate every happiness, as I would wish any couple, gay or straight. But I don’t defer to the royals and I don’t think they are special. Why should we celebrate this privileged couple? When he becomes king, William will inherit the immense personal wealth accumulated by his royal ancestors through slavery, war, pillage, and colonization. If he had a conscience, he would give away the monarch’s personal wealth as reparations to the victims of centuries of regal tyranny..."

Comment by Peter Tatchell on
A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said today that protestors on Friday could have their placards removed and be charged under the Public Order Act - as people who want to abolish the monarchy are clearly pro-democracy campaigners this is pretty shameful.
Will dressing up as a zombie also be an arrestable offence?

Andrew Marr: Abnormally Large

“The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people.
“It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”

Andrew Marr, quoted in The Daily Telegraph.
Marr said this in 2006, but it was good of the Telegraph to bring it up today.

• For the record on Superinjunctions, like many people Fagburn feels rather conflicted by the competing freedom of the press and freedom from the press. Superinjunctions seem only to be used by the super rich - but Fagburn can think of many tabloid intrusions into gay mens' lives - most callously reports they have HIV/Aids - that I wish could have been stopped from appearing in the papers...

Gilbert & George: Drunk

"The artists Gilbert and George spent nearly a tenth of the Tate Gallery's annual entertainment budget during a single boozy 1970s lunch with curators, archive material shows. The curators' excuse? It was research.
"In 1974, Tate employees, including Anne d'Offay, wife of the influential art dealer Anthony d'Offay, entertained the pair with a lunchtime binge. The artists drank "the majority" of three bottles of wine and 12 glasses of vintage port. The corresponding expense claim, 8 per cent of the Tate's annual budget for entertaining, angered senior figures at the gallery.
"Unfortunately, Gilbert and George consumed an astronomical amount of drink," said Mrs d'Offay, the Tate curator who submitted the expenses claim. "You can imagine that it was impossible to stop them ordering without creating a rumpus. By continuous questioning under the guise of hospitality we extracted a good deal of important information," Mrs d'Offay added.

From The Independent.
The meal for five people cost £31.27.

Here's a clip of Gilbert & George's 1971 short film, Gordon's Makes Us Drunk - now owned by Tate Modern.

Poly Styrene: 1957-2011

Monday, 25 April 2011

Things We Learned Today: Top Ten Sex-Related Searches Online

1. Youth (13.5%)
2. Gay (4.7%)
3. MILFs (4.3%)
4. Breasts (4%)
5. Cheating wives (3.4%)
6. Female genitalia (2.8%)
7. Male genitalia (2.4%)
8. (Censored by the book authors) [I think this was censored by the Mail - see below]
9. Bottoms (0.9%)
10. Cheerleaders (0.1%)

From the book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts, which claims to have analysed a billion internet searches, chart from The Daily Mail who secretly love all this stuff.
Interesting fact: The most viewed page on Fagburn is this - a critical look at recent research into safer sex practices amongst gay and bisexual men in Europe.
It's also the only post on here with "Young gay men" as a tagline, and has a photo of a young gay man looking like he's about to give another young gay man a blowie.
Go figure.
The book comes praised by Steven Pinker, so it's probably quite good and serious and that.
Here's a breakdown of some differences between what gay and straight men hunt for online - note the different terminology from The Mail.
And here is an accompanying essay by Ogi Ogas; The Striking Sexual Similarities Of Gay And Straight Men.

Even More Fucking Royal Wedding News: Friends & Family

"It is not going to be quite the case that all human life will be there, but the guest list for the royal wedding at Westminster Abbey, released by St James's Palace, contains an eclectic mix of friends, family, sports stars, personalities and the odd unsavoury dictator or two.
"Rowan Atkinson, a friend of Prince Charles, will be present, along with several politicians who appear to take Atkinson's Blackadder character as their role model. Elton John will sit alongside some rulers who would throw him in jail for being gay...."

The Guardian.

Including the ones from Abu Dhabi, Brunei, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (US client state - still retains the death penalty), and Swaziland.
His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of Bahrain, has ducked out.
Bahrain - where they're currently killing protestors with Saudi (ie US/UK) support - is more liberal on homosex than all the above countries.

• Also see this letter to Media Guardian on the "absurd claims" 2 billion people will be watching the wedding on TV.

Update: Private Eye April 29th reveals British military "advisers" are in Bahrain advising the army.

Royal Wedding News: Royal Zombie Wedding Celebration

Join the party - courtesy of Queer Resistance and friends.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

DJ Cocks: No Homo

No Homo - watch more funny videos

Thought For The Day: Larry Kramer

"I am a gay person before I’m anything else. I’m a gay person before I’m a white person, before I’m a Jew, before I’m a writer, before I’m American, anything. That is my most identifying characteristic and I don’t find many people who would say that. The polls say the same thing: People do not identify themselves as gay. And that’s too bad. In fact, it’s tragic. It will prevent us from ever having what we deserve, I believe."

Larry Kramer, in an interview with Salon.

Quote Of The Day: Alex Salmond

“I’ve never asked Brian.”

Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Alex Salmond, when asked by the Sunday Herald if homophobic cunt Brian Souter would approve of Salmond's (half-hearted) support for gay marriage.
Brian Souter, the multi-millionaire owner of the Stagecoach group, is currently bankrolling the SNP to the tune of £500,000.
Salmond told the Herald;
"I am [in favour].
“I’m very much against imposing it on any religion. But... if a denomination is prepared to accept gay marriage then I’m in favour of it, yes.
“My personal feeling would be to tend towards it. But we’ll put it out to consultation.”

Royal Wedding News: UK Pervert Freeloaders (Alleged)

"There is only ONE King! God! There is nothing 'royal' about UK pervert freeloaders! WBC to picket 'royal wedding'"

Arch-mentalist Steve Drain from the Westboro Baptist Church on Twitter.
Obviously they won't actually come over, as per, but Fagburn thinks they need the publicity.

Thought For Easter Sunday: John Sentamu, Archbishop Of York

“God wants spiritual fruits rather than religious nuts.”

The Sunday Express.

To quote Mr Sentamu in full; "As the old saying goes: "God wants spiritual fruits rather than religious nuts."
Try Googling this well-known "old saying".

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Noam Chomsky: Is The World Too Big To Fail?

"The democracy uprising in the Arab world has been a spectacular display of courage, dedication, and commitment by popular forces—coinciding, fortuitously, with a remarkable uprising of tens of thousands in support of working people and democracy in Madison, Wisconsin, and other U.S. cities.
"If the trajectories of revolt in Cairo and Madison intersected, however, they were headed in opposite directions: in Cairo toward gaining elementary rights denied by the dictatorship, in Madison towards defending rights that had been won in long and hard struggles and are now under severe attack..."

Noam Chomsky - ZNet appears to be down now, but you can read it here on Guernica.

The Daily Mail: A Little Cross

A touching profile of Colin Atkinson in today's Daily Mail;
'I'm proud of my cross - but Christianity is becoming a dirty word in this country', says the electrician threatened with the sack for displaying crucifix.
"An ex-miner, ex-soldier and one-time baker, he is softly spoken with huge ears..."
The Daily Mail reporter waits until paragraph twelve to drop the bombshell that Colin is not banned from putting his stupid cross in his van window.
But anyway; 'Colin isn’t the first Christian to fall foul of the equality zealots. There was the British Airways worker who was told she couldn’t wear a crucifix at work, even though the hijab was acceptable for colleagues who wished to proclaim their Islamic faith.
'Colin adds more examples: ‘There was the bed and breakfast couple, charged with discrimination, for turning away a gay couple because they weren’t married [Sic].
'‘And Eunice and Owen Johns, from Derby, who were prevented from fostering because they disapproved of homosexuality.
'‘They all stood up for themselves — they spoke out. And now it’s our turn. We’re not homophobic, we’re not against other religions and we’re happy to let others live and let live. But why should we sit back and be picked on?''
It's certainly something to think about...

Coronation Street: Wedding Balls

"CORONATION Street will screen its first gay wedding the day Prince William and Kate Middleton marry.
"The Street’s Sean Tully and Marcus Dent are due to tie the knot on April 29 in an hour-long spoiler to rival ­EastEnders’ marriage of Phil Mitchell to Shirley Carter."

The Daily Mirror, February 20th 2011.

"We've heard rumours of a gay marriage with Marcus... would you like to see that for Sean?"
"That was hilarious and totally made up by the papers - they even said we were getting married on the same day as Prince William and Kate Middleton. Great idea but not true at all. Who knows what the future holds for Sean, but a wedding is not on the cards at the moment..."

The Daily Mirror, April 22nd 2011.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Brighton (Hove Actually): Bigots Welcome Here

"A lesbian couple are taking legal action against a hotel after they claimed they were turned away for being gay.
"Rebecca Nash, 22, and Hope Stubbings, 19, said they booked a double room at the Brunswick Square Hotel in Brighton by telephone.
"But when they arrived they were told by the manager that no rooms were available and that the hotel only accepted straight couples and families.
"A spokesman for the human rights group Liberty said the women were then ushered out of the hotel by the manager who became increasingly aggressive towards them..."

The Argus, Brighton (Again).

This, if true, is as hilarious as it is awful.*
The hotel is not far from Fagburn Mansions - though it's technically in Hove, it's still pretty near the heart of Gayland Central, Gayville.
I'll go round in a bit and shout "Boo!"

*Update: It might not be true - The Guardian. Oops!

Salon: Supporting Roles

"I went to an all-boy's Catholic school in the Philippines. Every year we put on a Christmas pageant and every aspiring actor longed to be cast in the Nativity scene. In seventh grade, I desperately wanted to play the role of Mary. But as usual the part went to my arch-nemesis Lito.
"In every production with a female character, the teachers always cast the most effeminate boy with light skin. And that was Lito. He played Alice in 'Alice in Wonderland'; I played the plant. In the Hungarian fairy tale production, he played the princess and I played the tambourine while he danced. I had a theory: Teachers chose him over me because he was in the closet. Those of us who were out were relegated to supporting roles..."

A sweet piece by Roy Cruz on Salon - 'A Gay Boy Discovers His Inner Faye Dunaway'

Banksy: Kisses For Sale

"A piece of wall bearing one of Banksy’s most iconic works has been flown to America to be sold.
"Experts predict the kissing policeman [Sic], painted on the wall of the Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street, Brighton in 2004, could reach in excess of £1 million."

The Argus, Brighton.
Eh? The original was painted over by (presumably homophobic) vandals in 2006, but I hope the squillionaire new owner is happy with whatever he's bought.

Update: "In 2008 a specialist art restoration company used chemicals to transfer the image onto a canvas, and the original was replaced with a facsimile, encased in perspex. "I don't think we are cheating people," said Steward. "Maybe it's a little bit misleading but it's 80% a Banksy, just the stencil's been done by somebody else." (The Guardian)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Christopher Jefferies: Taking On The Tabloids

Fagburn is really pleased to hear that Chris Jefferies is suing The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express, Daily Mail and the Daily Record for libel and invasion of privacy.

Fagburn: Apropos Of Nothing 2 - Bradley Manning

I said I'd review this when I got a copy, and now I have.
It's no great shakes in the literary stakes, but it's a pretty good primer on Bradley Manning and why we must defend him.
Like anything about Bradley, it's a bit hamstrung by the "allegedly" thing, and there's not much more about the (gay) man you won't have read in other profiles - though Mitchell does make various connections about how Bradley's sexuality is instrumental in all this.
ie He's a queer hero (allegedly).
Buy it here.

• Oh, and thanks to Naomi and everyone behind UK Friends Of Bradley Manning for keeping up the heat that helped get Bradley moved.
Protest works!

Fagburn: Apropos Of Nothing I - Hunx And His Punx

I said I'd review this when I got a copy, and now I have two.
Thanks to Sarah at Hardly Art - *Big Kiss*
Okay, maybe this isn't as good as Gay Singles.
But what is?
I still think it's a perfect schtick.
Queercore + Girl Groups = You best believe I'm in love - L. U. V.

Surveillance: No 2 ID/No 2 iPhone

"Security researchers have discovered that Apple's iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner's computer when the two are synchronised.
"The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone's recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner's movements using a simple program..."

From Technology Guardian.
And people pay money for these things?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Fagburn: Bitchin'

God, there's not even anything worth bitching about in the papers today.
I am looking forward to this, though.
As I spend much of my time criticising the Phil Space School of journalism, I shall not bore you, and will be back when I think there is something worth writing about.
Anyway - it's a really nice day; Let's go surfing!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Bradley Manning Newsflash: "Outcry Causes Move From Quantico"

Update 11pm: The story has now been confirmed by the Pentagon.

'WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say the Army private suspected of giving classified data to WikiLeaks is being moved to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas in the wake of international criticism about his treatment during his detention at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va.
'The officials say an announcement that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning will be moved is expected Wednesday at the Pentagon. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the move has not yet been made public...'

Associated Press.

Bradley Manning Support Network. See also commentary from Bradley's lawyer David E Coombs and latest news on Bradley Manning UK on Twitter.

Update: Livestream video from the Pentagon. See comments below...

Update 2: 'Military moves to further isolate Bradley Manning with transfer to Kansas' Bradley Manning Support Network.

Update 3: Wednesday 8.20pm 'Bradley Manning's Family Welcome News Of Move...'.

Richard Littlejohn: The Edited Column

Two snapshots of modern, multicultural Britain. In Wakefield, an electrician is threatened with the sack for displaying a palm cross in his van. A couple of hundred miles south, in Tower Hamlets, a pharmacy assistant is threatened with death unless she wears a Muslim headscarf.
Both are extreme examples of ‘diversity’ in action... equality nazis.
Remember the British Airways worker... a modest crucifix... hijab... Islamic faith.
Hoteliers, foster parents, teachers and a devout Christian registrar have all had their lives ruined in the name of ‘tolerance’... latest in a catalogue of Christians singled out for persecution... overgrown Wolfie Smith wannabe... blood-stained revolutionary Che Guevara... environmental manager, whatever that is.
heinous ‘crime’... equality and diversity manager... Stalinist zeal.
Except, of course, Christianity... no problem if an employee wanted to wear a burka to work.
'The Equality Act 2010.’ Harriet Harman’s grotesque piece of social engineering... forces organisations to carry out ‘equality impact assessments’ on everything from staffing ratios to the effect of spending cuts on minorities.
embraced messianically throughout the land by the vast apparatus of ‘diversity’ enforcers... a never-ending political crusade.
‘diversity days’... Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Group... invited the imam from the Wakefield Central Mosque to address staff.
Why should taxpayers be expected to indulge his political prejudices?
‘Diversity manager’... outrageous persecution... professional agitators drawn from the ranks of the Guardianistas... want to stamp out Christianity in Britain... self-righteous, guilt-ridden white Leftists and hard-line Islamists.
mad mullahs... Militant Muslims... establish a sharia state in East London... cheered on by Leftists... toxic mix of Islamist fanaticism and revolutionary socialism.
And in the name of ‘diversity’ the Left cheerfully overlook rabid hatred of homosexuals and the subjugation of women by Islamists.
31-year-old Asian shop assistant is now in fear of her life... visited by extremists...
The Tower Hamlets Taliban... the pernicious, officially-sanctioned cult of multiculturalism.
Mustn’t upset the community...
symptoms of a much wider malignant disease.
This week it is an electrician from Wakefield and a shop assistant. Who will be next to be sacrificed on the altar of ‘diversity’?

You can read Richard Littlejohn's column in full in The Daily Mail
Image from E Dubya on B3TA.

Channel 4: Ban This Filth!

"We visited 75 supermarkets, newsagents and independent newsagent retailers to find out where shops were placing their lads’ mags. Magazines like Nuts, Zoo, Gay Times, Attitude and Bizarre; all of which featured nudity or semi nudity on the covers and inside.
"Incredibly, it was on the shelves low enough for toddlers to see.
"It’s just shocking to think what impact this could have on the emotional and mental well-being of our children.
"We want people to wake up and smell the coffee, to have a look around at what is happening – these children are going to be the future generation of parents."

The Daily Mirror provides a taster for what you'll hear argued on Channel 4 tonight [Edit: "Lads Mags" are in Part II on Wednesday] in Stop Pimping Our Kids.
(The same Channel 4 that showed The Joy Of Teen Sex in February, incidentally).
"It’s about the over sexualisation of children, which is a huge issue and a massive concern for parents and experts alike," writes presenter Anna Richardson.
"They worry how is it affecting the psyche of children and their attitude towards sex and relationships."
Anna Richardson would clearly prefer children to grow up with a sense of shame about their own bodies and about sex.
Other revelations made by Channel 4 include a shop selling "a T-shirt with Future Footballers wife stamped across it, for a three to four year old" and "boys are being told that they need to trim their pubic hair".
Fagburn has warned before about the Front Page Campaign trying to get gay mags hidden away or taken off the shelf in UK stores.

Piss Christ: Art Attack

Andres Serrano's Piss Christ - a strangely beautiful photo of a crucifix suspended in Andrew's own piss - has been "destroyed" by Christians".
Three men attacked it with what's been variously described as a hammer and screwdriver or icepick, following a protest by Christian nutjobs on Sunday and threats made to the gallery that was displaying it in Avignon in your actual France.
Piss Christ has come under less literal attack many times before; often held up as the worst example of "perverted art" in attacks on public funding for the arts by right-wing and/or religious groups in the States.
But isn't taking a hammer to it kinda in keeping with the détournement of the piece?

Monday, 18 April 2011

Queerty: So Farewell Then...

A message from Queerty
After more than five years of serving the LGBT community with news and entertainment, Queerty has come to a close. The decision to shutter the site was not an easy one to make, and it is with great pain that we say goodbye to our loyal readership. From all of Queerty's writers and contributors, from our first unto our last day, thank you for spending some time with us.

—Queerty and 353Media

This appeared on Queerty's website today after a few days of being off air with "technical difficulties".
Queerty founder, David Hauslaib, "partnered" with 353 Media last year - and apparently they decided to pull the site.
A real shame - Fagburn liked your style.

Exciting Music News: Maybe?

Joe McElderry may have been dropped by Simon Cowell's record label, Syco (MTV). No-one's actually sure, but they're still having a good old gloat about it • "Harry Derbidge is secretly dating Eton Road hunk Anthony Hannah" (The Daily Mirror). That's Harry off The Only Way Is Essex, obviously. Anthony Hannah is the funny looking girliebloke who you may not have thought of as a "hunk" • Jedward - fucking Jedward - are the cover stars for the new GT. Apparently they're not gay. Let's hope they say they love their gay fans • And finally, X Factor's Diva Fever are headlining Calderdale Pride. Where on earth is Calderdale? • Can life get any fucking better?

Silvio Berlusconi: It's The Way He Tells 'Em

“All of us have a homosexual part of 25 per cent, which I also have. The only thing is that I, after a profound examination, have realised that my homosexual part is lesbian.”

Italian Prime Minister and billionaire crook Silvio Berlusconi keeps right on digging - said to a rally of his People of Freedom Party on Saturday.
In November he made the profound observation; "It's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay."

The Sun: If You Could Turn Any Celebrity Gay

If you could turn any celebrity gay, who would it be and why?

Gorgeous British diver Tom Daley would be a perfect gay. Let's face it, he's preternaturally tan and he never steps out of a Speedo, so he's half way there already. He just needs a push.

Assuming you and Tom went on a weekend city break, where would that be and why?

Iceland would be nice. Tom is average height there and he and I could float around in steaming lakes, wet and buoyant and cleansed. I'd cradle him in my arms, like a delicate (and hot) flower.

Scott Capurro interviewed in The Sun.
If Mr Capurro were a true fan, he'd know Tom wears Adidas swimwear.

Scott Capurro's Position is at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London every Thursday until May 5.
Fagburn really hopes Scott has Tom as a guest on his new show.

The Guardian: Letter Of The Week

Your report on the gay protest outside the John Snow pub in Soho says organisers "urged same-sex individuals to engage in kissing" (No kissing here: pub in homophobia row closes in vain bid to thwart gay protest, 16 April). What precisely is a "same-sex individual"?

Simon Edge


The Guardian.

• "To show our support for gay kissing in public we present a Celebration of Gay Kisses especially for you to enjoy. Videos from YouTube featuring clips from As The World Turns, Hollyoaks, Torchwood, Queer as Folk, Oz and Dante's Cove" - ATV Today.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Daily Mail: "The London Taliban"

Here's a funny thing - The Daily Mail is standing up for The Gays!
But only cause they hate them Muslamics even more;
'Wear A Headscarf Or We Will Kill You: How the 'London Taliban' is targeting women and gays in bid to impose sharia law'
"An Asian woman who works in a pharmacy in east London was told to dress more modestly and wear a veil or the shop would be boycotted.
"When she went to the media to talk about the abuse she suffered, a man later entered the pharmacy and told her: 'If you keep doing these things, we are going to kill you'."
Anything else apart from this?
Some anti-gay stickers have been put up - we still don't know by who yet - and "the daubing of paint on posters for clothing shop H&M featuring women in bikinis." [See above photo - and again, by who?]
It's hardly downtown Kabul in the 1990s, is it?
How interesting that the Mail - so often happily gay-bashing, standing up for religious nutters "rights" to be bigoted, and complaining about the sexualisation of popular culture is getting irate about this.
The story is actually a more hysterical rewrite of one in The Sunday Times; 'London Taliban Tell Women To Cover Up'
Is this really anymore offensive than any of the recent calls for the burqa to be banned in Britain in The Daily Mail?

Update: Almost all the right-wing papers ran "London Taliban" scare stories Monday, all based on the one incident reported in The Sunday Times.

• Here's an excellent edition of BBC Radio 4's Face The Facts on the UK media publishing negative, distorted and untrue stories about Muslims and Islam.

Lil B: I'm Gay

"I'm gonna do the most controversial thing in Hip Hop. Ya'll heard it first. And I'ma just show you that words don't mean shit. I'ma make an album called 'I'm Gay,' right.
"Now I'ma tell you why I'm the first person to do it in Hip Hop and why you're the first people to know my reasons, I'm just gonna tell you. So many people be worried about what people mean and definitions of words and shit... Now I like women, I love women, you feel me. But within yourselves, no matter what you do, it doesn't matter, it's like live life. You've only got one life to live. Be happy."

Lil B announces his - alleged - new album title live onstage at Coachella.
More and watch it here.

Betty Blue Eyes: At Last!!! Musicals Just Got Gayer!

Cameron Mackintosh presents Betty Blue Eyes, a musical comedy adaptation of Alan Bennett's A Private Function by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, the creators of the ace Queer As Folk USA, and starring an animatronic pig which sings in the voice of Kylie Minogue.
How could it possibly go wrong?
"Betty Blue Eyes has nothing like the charm of the original," sniffs The Sunday Times.
"There are some pretty crude comic caricatures, too... A number of scenes are turgid or pointlessly camp."
Camp - Boo!
"A let-down... the evening left me disgruntled," chimed in The Independent.
The Daily Mail begged to differ; 'This Porker Is A Corker!'
For once The Guardian found itself in agreement with the Mail; "Witty and delightful...sucessfully brings home the bacon."
And The Times was even more enthusiastic; "A new smash musical is born: witty, rude, lovable, warm, dramatic, hilarious."
Blimey. Oink oink!

Religious News: Backwards Christian Soldier

'Persecuted For His Cross: Electrician told he faces the sack for Christian symbol on his van dashboard''
Do I really need to tell you this is from the Mail On Sunday?
"An electrician faces the sack for displaying a small palm cross on the dashboard of his company van.
"Former soldier Colin Atkinson has been summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the giant housing association where he has been employed for 15 years because he refuses to remove the symbol.
"Mr Atkinson, a regular worshipper at church, said: ‘The treatment of Christians in this country is becoming diabolical...but I will stand up for my faith.’"
Good for you, religious nutter!
The Mail does eventually point out that his employers, Wakefield and District Housing, fully supports letting employees wear religious symbols, but thought Mr Atkinson having a crucifix on the dashboard of his work van might give them impression they are a Christian organisation.
It's also a massive 8"s high - about the size of a large erect penis.
There's also an hilariously over-the-top editorial - 'Be as diverse as you like as you like, but not Christian' - which makes it sound like poor Mr Atkinson has actually been nailed to a cross.
"‘The past few months have been unbelievable, a nightmare,’ he said.
"‘I have worked in the coal mines and served in the Army in Northern Ireland and I have never suffered such stress."
So basically you were doing a job which involves killing people for a living and being targeted by terrorists - and you find this more stressful? Get a grip, man!
"'It is political correctness taken to the extreme.’"
I so knew he was going to say that.

Stupid Poll Watch: Many Gay Tories Voting Tory

'Clegg Tops Gay Poll — But For Looks Rather Than Policies' reports The Sunday Times.
Message: Nick Clegg is a joke. Being gay is a joke.
Wait there's more...
"The poll, conducted among 1,100 mainly city-dwelling gay men, also reveals that 36% would vote Tory if there were a general election tomorrow.
"Labour comes second with 34% while, regardless of Clegg’s personal appeal, the Liberal Democrats trail with 22%."
Really? So who's behind this poll?
"The survey was carried out by Jake, a gay networking organisation, run by Ivan Massow, a businessman and Tory supporter."
Ah Jake - the site for "the UK's gay professional community".
So, it's not for gay men that are "city-dwelling", but gay men who work in the city - gay businessmen, guppies.
And 36% of these rich queens say they'll vote Tory - you amaze me!*
The tragedy is that these completely unscientific online "polls" are often quoted back at us as evidence of gay mens' actual voting habits - even when they're distinctly partisan and/or they've clearly been targeted by political parties so the results go up and down like a rent boy's knickers.
And don't get me started on that foxhunting fuckwit Ivan Massow...

* This is also marginally less than the proportion of the general population who say they'd vote Tory in the latest YouGov/SundayTimes poll.

Going Bald: That's So Gay

Author Tim Lott manages to spin out a very lengthy feature in The Observer Magazine on getting his hair cut.
He's going bald so has decided to get a crop - and meditates about the meaning of hair and masculinity.
He gets his hairy history a bit arse over tit by suggesting there were only gay skinheads in the 80s and 90s, until along came hetero meterosexual men like David Beckham.
And how can Lott neglect to mention the best masculinity crisis caused by hair loss of all time, Mark Oaten, former Lib Dem MP and leadership contender?
“I was turning 40 and I really felt that I was losing my youth. The problem was undoubtedly compounded by my dramatic loss of hair in my late thirties.”
This terrible human tragedy drove Mark Oaten into the arms of a young Polish rent boy and getting him to perform "a gross act of humiliation, which only a few punters ask for... too disgusting to be described in a family newspaper.”
Maybe he gave him a mullet?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Wanted: Not Glad To Be Gay

"THE Wanted's Max put the record straight yesterday after the boys in the band tweeted he was gay.
"The heartthrob, who is dating Coronation Street's Michelle Keegan, was bombarded with messages from people quizzing him on his sexuality.
"The frenzy was sparked when the rest of the group hijacked his Twitter page to write: 'I like boys. Can all the boys in the audience tonight shout I'm out and proud.'
Max said: 'There's no problem with being gay but I just want to set the record straight - I am into girls. Michelle will think it's funny.'"
- The Daily Record.
Hilarious stuff guys! That's Max on the left. I supect pixie-faced Nathan - on the right - may be tweeting something similar soon...