Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Monday, 30 January 2012

TV Review: Britain's Gay Footballers

"As you’re probably aware, ‘Britain’s Gay Footballers’ aired on BBC3 tonight. At first it seemed like classic gay documentary, misconceptions-and-cliches-drinking-game material. We got the ‘1 in 10 people are gay’ nonsense, some begrudging and dull soundbites from those in the game, and more than a few money-shots of tears courtesy of the Fashanu family. To balance the misery out, we also got to see the interior of a Swedish men’s dressing-room and Anton Hysen body-popping. For good or for ill (and it was routinely both), the programme was made by Amal Fashanu, niece of Justin, who remains the only English player ever to have come out as gay, and who committed suicide, as everyone knows. One of the benefits of his niece presenting the programme was that it ensured that we weren’t covering *exactly* the same ground as before.
"John Fashanu deservedly came across very badly..."

Amazefootyballs review from thefcf.co.uk

Now read on...

Leonard Cohen: 77

Not much happening that's worth commenting on today.
Fine by me, I wanted a day off.
I spent the day listening to laughing Lenny Cohen.
It's as good as music gets.

London Gay Scene Trajectory: Bell Curve

Via QX.
It's funny cause it's true.

Homophobia: Game Over!

The end of homophobia was officially announced today, after the Professional Football Association said they had some posters printed.
The PFA will send them out to football clubs, in the hope they put them up somewhere.
Sir Robert Mark told Fagburn; "I'm convinced they're a major contribution to road safety."

Shame: My Brother Makes The Noises For The Talkies

'Last summer, I was invited to do ADR for Shame. At the time, we knew nothing about the film. My agent said: "It involves sexual sounds. Do you mind?" I said: "No, it's just a job. It's fine."
'The sound engineer kept the sexual stuff till the end. There's a scene where Michael Fassbender's character goes to a gay club. At the back of some shots, couples were at it. So I stood at the microphone with another guy and we improvised. For example: "Yeah. YEAH. Go deeper, GO DEEPER." The sound engineer would say: "OK, a bit more intense, please." You came up with anything you could think of. "Who's your daddy?" Stuff like that.'

John Moraitis, ADR (Additional Dialogue Recorder), on The Guardian blog
Illustrated here with the Hungarian poster for Shame.
Which - oddly - didn't catch on. 
There is no such thing as "sex addiction" by the way, it's a wholly nebulous concept. 
Doing something many times because you enjoy doing it is not an "addiction".

The 2 Bears: Bear Hug

Bear Hug by The 2 Bears

CNN: Eh?

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Charlie Condou: On Being Frank

'For Rupert Everett it was clear cut. Coming out ruined his career. And if an Equity survey published this week is anything to go by, many actors feel the same.
'According to the survey, only 57% of gay actors feel they can be open about their sexuality to their agents. '"A previous agent of mine once told me to keep quiet about my sexuality and, though I am out, I do not broadcast it," said one.
'I can't relate at all. For my entire career I've never had a problem being frank about my sexuality, never felt I've been turned down for a role on the basis of being gay, and have only played three gay characters in a career that spans 20 years. The idea that keeping your sexuality a secret will win you better and more varied roles is a lame excuse – often the result of internalised homophobia rather than reality. The industry has moved on and it's time actors did as well.
'Some of Hollywood's most bankable actors are openly gay. Ian McKellen, for example, starring in some of the highest grossing franchises in cinematic history such as Lord of the Rings and X-Men, had his most commercially successful period as an actor after he came out in 1988. Look at how the career of Russell Tovey, openly gay from the start and one of this country's brightest young prospects, has blossomed. And my co-star on Coronation Street, Jeremy Sheffield, is still very much the housewives' choice and leading-man material – he's been out since he started. So why all the fuss?'

Charlie Condou -  who plays the bent Marcus Dent in Coronation Street - writing on Guardian Online
Well said, sir.
Though your list of "bankable actors" who are "openly gay" is not a very long one, is it? 
And I doubt we could stretch it that much further.
Which is odd - seeing as probably only cabin crew beat acting as a queer career choice. 
Hollywood's only just got its first out young male lead, Zachary Quinto.
And we're still waiting to see what roles he gets offered post coming out.
Not that that negates your original thesis, mind. 
Or does it?

Archbishop Of York: Isn't It Ironic?

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth yesterday over the Archbishop of York's condemnation of gay marriage.
If you ask me, taking any notice of what Dr John Sentamu has to say on this matter makes as much sense as taking traffic instructions from a mad drunk tramp who's standing in the middle of a motorway and shouting.
Best to ignore the homophobic publicity-seeking mentalist, that's what I say.
His comments were made in The Daily Telegraph, but there was a companion piece that the furore caused to be cruelly overlooked; 'Dr John Sentamu: Church Must Avoid Being 'Too Middle Class’
I only got round to reading it today and my bullshit detector fairly exploded.
See if you can spot any irony, contradictions, flaws, hypocrisy or good old-fashioned fuckwittery between Dr Sillyoldmoo's anti-gay comments yesterday and this:

'While the focus has often been on the introduction of homosexual and female clergy, Dr Sentamu is aware that the Church must do more to avoid its leadership being solely white and middle class.
“I used to chair the committee for minority ethnic Anglican concerns, and we seemed to be making some progress but that now seems to be going backwards. Where we have lost out is black people who had been realised Anglicans, who are now joining Pentecostal churches. That’s a huge drain.”
'He said white working-class parishioners were also poorly represented in the Church’s leadership, often being relegated to making tea after services, and highlighted support groups for single mothers and replacing theological books with audio versions as ways to help disadvantaged groups.
“The Church should be a sign of the kingdom of heaven and should be telling us what it will look like. Heaven is not going to be full of just black people, just working-class people, just middle-class people, it’s going to be, in the words of Desmond Tutu, a rainbow people of God in all its diversity.”'

The article also reminds us that the archbishop is currently in Jamaica.
But how in the name of Jehovah did anyone miss this line?

"Back at his 1950s hotel in the coastal town of Ocho Rios, where he struck up an unlikely friendship with the actor Rupert Everett..."

One wonders what they find to talk about.
Unless "struck up a friendship with Rupert Everett" is a new euphemism, that is.
God bless!

Howard Hodgkin: Who Will Be 80 In August

'Looking back, what would he have done differently? Like the late Sir John Betjeman, does he wish he’d had more sex? The pale eyes blink. “More what?” More sex, I reply loudly. “Asked the same question as Betjeman,” he says, “I would probably give the same answer.”
'Because he was of a generation for whom sex was taboo? “Probably. But the best story about John Betjeman, I think, was him sitting in a restaurant and a most beautiful waiter came along to take his order and he said, ‘Isn’t he marvellous, he…’ ” – Hodgkin’s voice thickens with emotion – “ ‘brings out the scoutmaster in all of us.’” His face crumples, and he is overcome by two, three, brief, racking sobs of laughter.'

Harry Hodgkin is profiled in The Sunday Times.
Which, like its sister paper, The Times, seems a bit homosex-obsessed.
But maybe it's healthier than newspapers neutering the nellies?
He was taken for Lunch With The FT last weekend, where he talked a bit more about his poovery.
Sir Harry's full name now appears to be "Hodgkin who will be 80 in August".
Just as David Hockney is "Hockney who will be 75 this year".
They're like titles - Old Age Honours?
And, just like Hockney, Brian Sewell has slagged Hodgkin's work off something rotten; “Dab dab dab, go on the blobs of colour, as if he were designing rainwear for the common prostitute.”
I wonder if Mr Brian R Sewell has a good word to say about any of your actual living, breathing artists who are homosexualists?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Robert Wyatt: Happy Birthday, Robert

Letter Of The Week: A Mr Hockney Writes

Why doesn't Mr Chapman debate with a good and satisfied customer of the tobacco companies (Plain packs will make smoking history, 25 January)? Someone who has seen what will replace it as a smoothing, calming contemplative helper. Someone whose friends died of alcohol consumption, not tobacco. Someone who has smoked for nearly as long as he has lived. Someone who knows about the fanatical attitude of haters of tobacco. Someone who is not so naive about advertising and packaging.
Someone who has almost outlived a fanatical anti-smoking father. Someone who is fed up to the teeth with people who think they really know what health is. Someone who is not afraid of the cowardly, crooked politicians who stifle the debate about pleasure in the now. Someone who knows that time is elastic. Someone who knows how easy it is to lie with statistics. Someone who is not a professional agitator, who knows there is no such thing as a professional smoker but knows there are hundreds of dreary, professional, highly paid anti-smokers.
Someone who thinks laughter is good for you as it drains fear from the body. Someone who has something better to do than to try and control the quiet lives of others. Someone who knows we are all a bit different and is fed up with the growing regimentation of people. Someone who knows that smokers can live perfectly average-length lives but heavy drinkers rarely. Someone who is shocked by the growing conformity among people, and what that might mean for a reasonable free society. Someone who prefers the centre of Bohemia to Australian suburbia. Someone who knows we have to die.

David Hockney
Bridlington, East Yorkshire

• Your actual art is 'Hockney Smoking' by Juergen Teller.

Gay Footballers: Own Goal

Good to see Monday's BBC3 documentary The Truth About Gay Footballers getting lots of press.
All the papers seem to love this subject, perhaps because of its supposed incongruity.
And they can also indulge in a bit of schoolboy tee hee-hee nudge nudge winkery.
Much of the coverage this time retells the sorry tale of Justin Fashanu, the only British professional player to have come out - the programme is presented by his niece, Amal Fashanu.
The Sun alone has managed to spin three stories out of it already.
'Joey Barton: Gay soccer stars fear the manager'
And in The Scottish Sun today there's; 'Tackling football’s last taboo'
It's just a shame The Sun can't "man up" and apologise for their own homophobia, or the part they played in Justin Fashanu's downfall.  

Stephen Fry: Last Night A Mobile Library Saved My Life

The Times today runs a smashing piece by Stephen Fry on how a local mobile library in Norfolk introduced his 11 year-old self to Mr Oscar Wilde.
First he read The Importance Of Being Earnest, but he soon hit the harder stuff; The Complete Works, then - after lying to the librarian about his age - H Montgomery Hyde's The Trials of Oscar Wilde.

"I took it home and read it. It was a book that changed my life. The heroic lord of language who had captivated me so entirely turned out to have had a secret life. And the more I read the faster my heart beat. For I knew that I shared the same secret. I had never quite dared tell myself this truth but reading of Wilde’s arrest and trial I could not but know it to be true.
"It was shattering, terrible, liberating, stimulating, appalling, wonderful and incredible all at once."

Gagging for more, young master Fry soon hits the main library in Norwich...

"Over the next few years the trial and trail of Oscar had led me to read Gide and Genet, Auden and Orton, Norman Douglas and Ronald Firbank. Unforgettable, transformative books for me were that same H. Montgomery Hyde’s The Other Love, Roger Peyrefitte’s The Exile of Capri and Special Friendships, Angus Stewart’s Sandel and Michael Campbell’s Lord Dismiss Us. I read of man-love, boy-love and free love. I clutched to myself the dark secrets of the infamous Book 13 of the Greek Anthology and the Venice letters in Quest for Corvo. I read Cuthbert Worsley’s Flannelled Fool and Robin Maugham’s Escape From the Shadows. From over the Atlantic I encountered Gore Vidal and John Rechy. I discovered the Tangier set, by way of Michael Davies, Paul Bowles, William Burroughs and dozens of others.
"For a gay youth growing up in the early 1970s a library was a way of showing that I was not alone. There was an element of titillation and breathtaking possibility, even the chance of a fumbled encounter, but there was vindication, too. Some of the best, finest, truest, cleverest minds that ever held a pen in their hands had been like me..."

So how does The Times title this moving piece about the life-affirming, life-saving power of the written word?
'Stephen Fry: The Library Taught Me About Sex'
For sex's sake!
It's taken from The Library Book, a collection of essays by various authors released on National Libraries Day, February 4th, in aid of The Reading Agency.
Yes, of course, Alan Bennett's in it.
Not sure if you're meant to buy the book or borrow it from the library.
Maybe best to do both.

Mark Gatiss: Comedy Vicar

"It's a cliché, but it's true that all the fun lies in baddies, grotesques and comic roles. For me, the joy of The League [of Gentlemen] was in the dressing up; the wigs and teeth. Now I get asked to play vicars all the time. I've only ever played one. I got offered three gay vicars in a day last year. I thought, 'Hang on, I'm not the new Nimmo!'. But as an actor, you know very early on if you're never going to play Romeo. And after that, it never enters your head."

Mark Gatiss, interviewed in The Independent.
Mark played a curate in an episode of Marple, TV buffs!
Oh, and he's doing something at the Donmar Warehouse.

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Daily Telegraph: Thou Shalt Not (Cont.)

Luckily for the archbishop, Cameron has no real intention of legalising gay marriage.
This story's not up on the Telegraph's website yet, so mañana...

...Okay. Hola!

This is the ever buffoonish Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, talking to the Telegraph, by the way.
He's a publicity whore - so much so they wanted him on Celebrity Big Brother.
Surprisingly he said no to that one.
Is it worth giving him any more of the oxygen of publicity?
This is a man who believes in God - why does anyone expect him to say anything rational or even sane?
He has form as a homophobe - he was one of a handful of Church of England bishops who refused to sign the mild as mother's milk Cambridge Accord condemning homophobia and supporting gay inclusion.
He was speaking from Jamaica, where he's taking part in the celebrations of their 50 years of independence.
Jamaica currently holds the world record for killing queers - will Sentamu be as vocal in his criticism of that?
Is it worth dignifying what he's said with a comment or critique?
Do you care what he says?
Do you really want to hear what he said?
Okay, try and make sense of this...

"Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can’t just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are.
“We’ve seen dictators do it in different contexts and I don’t want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way.
“It’s almost like somebody telling you that the Church, whose job is to worship God [will be] an arm of the Armed Forces. They must take arms and fight. You’re completely changing tradition."

See? This is nonsense.
The man's bobbins.
I can't even be bothered to take the piss out of it.

PS Here's a video of his holiness talking about gay marriage.
I think he seems mentally ill.

Hair: Wisconsin High School Musical

I hope you have a nice weekend.


Star Wars: May The Fags Be With You

"In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists! Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. In a galaxy not so far far away, Star Wars gamers have already gone to the dark side. The new video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, has added a special feature: gay relationships. Bioware, the company that developed the game, said it's launching a same-sex romance component to satisfy some complaints. That surprised a lot of gamers, since Bioware had made it clear in 2009 that "gay" and "lesbian" don't exist in the Star Wars universe. Since the announcement, homosexuals have been celebrating the news, but parents sure aren't. On the game's website, there are more than 300 pages of comments--a lot of them expressing anger that their kids will be exposed to this Star Warped way of thinking. You can join them by logging on and speaking up. It's time to show companies who the Force is really with!"

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council - 'Advancing Faith, Family and Freedom'.

A gay couple in Star Wars? 
Who ever heard of such a thing!!!??
Here's Queerty on what the new game actually does.

Owen Jones: Independent

Good news!
Owen Jones has a column in today's Independent.
Fagburn is quite the fan of the baby-faced man.
Why not have a read?; 'Gay people have come a long way – but hatred is still out there'
Even though that is about The Gays - for he is one of them, you know - Mr Jones usually writes about politics in the more formal sense.
Indeed, ever since the publication of his book, Chavs: The Demonization Of The Working Class, last year, Owen has become the go-to guy for fresh, intelligent left-wing comment.
He usually announces the publication of his journalism, as well as his radio, TV and speaking appearances, on Twitter.
He's got so much going on one wonders how he has time to tweet.
It's interesting his column appears in The Independent the week after Johann Hari announced he wouldn't be returning to the paper.
Will Owen Jones be Johann Hari's replacement?
I billy well hope so.

Update: Huge amount of comments under Owen's piece on The Gays. Most are depressing as fuck, even many of the pro-gay ones. Welcome to the World of Stupid!

ABBA: Thank You For The Demo Medley

Fagburn has to confess to being rather pleased that 'Abba to release first new song in almost 20 years' was considered newsworthy by several papers today.
One slight reservation, though - I don't think it's true.
The announcement on ABBA's official website does not call 'From A Twinkling Star To A Passing Angel' a new song - it says it's a "demo medley".
Presumably incorporating the various demo versions of Like An Angel Passing Through My Room, which in one early version was called Twinkle Twinkle.
Hence the name, presumably.
If you want a new-ish "ABBA song", here's one - and it's totes amazeballs.
Benny & Björn's Story Of A Heart.

PS And since you're wondering, yes, I think this is incredibly important.

PPS By a spooky coincidence Christopher Green's wondrous Radio 4 play about growing up a gayboy ABBA fan, Like An Angel Passing Through My Room, is now available on iTunes.

PPS Although this may seem one of my more trivial posts, I think it's instructive about much that's wrong with the media. All they were doing was copying from a press release - and yet they all turned it into something that it doesn't say. Amazing!

MailOnline: The World's Biggest...

Fagburn extends his hearty congratulations to The Daily Mail this morning after learning MailOnline has been  declared the world's biggest newspaper website.
"According to new figures from Comscore, the ‘gold standard’ web measurement firm, in December 2011 MailOnline recorded 45.348million unique visitors.
"The next closest newspaper was the New York Times which had 44.787million unique users..."
'But how do they do it?' I hear you ask.
By printing a load of inane showbiz twaddle - often about US celebs who mean nothing over here - and by pedalling titillating salacious filth.
Ideally in the same story.
Let's have a look at some headlines from the front page of today's MailOnline

No hangover here! Carol Vorderman puts in a fresh-faced appearance after the NTAs in another figure hugging dress - She’s always been a cougar: Worse for wear Demi Moore seen smooching a 15-year-old in blast from the past video - What has happened to Katie Price? Bedraggled model heads out with ex Leandro... but leaves party with another man - Where's Austin when you need him... Cringe moment for Vanessa Hudgens as bikini top pops open - Now, that's how to wear a bikini! Picture perfect Adriana Lima models Victoria's Secret swimwear in tropical St Barts - Not sure anyone's looking at the coconut! Kelly Brook accentuates her curves in revealing bikini for a holiday snapshot - 'My boob implants swelled to the size of my head... then EXPLODED!' says actress who appeared in Corrie and Hollyoaks - So that's where she gets her outrageous behaviour from... Denise Welch's father is a successful drag queen - Wages of sin: Former underage prostitute paid for sex by footballer debuts lingerie line at Couture Fashion Week - Call of the wild: How a Co-op security guard left Manchester, slipped on a loincloth and became Tarzan, King of the Jungle - Not picking up tips at home? Orlando Bloom shows how NOT to wear trousers... while his model wife rocks a very nice pair - Swinging couple in drug-fuelled orgy with sex partner sprayed him with bear repellent after he refused to let them take explicit photos - Widow who said brain tumour turned husband into transvestite and made him cut her out of £575,000 will loses fight for inheritance - 50 Cent promises to post naked picture of his private parts if Giants lose Super Bowl - Not leaving anything to chance? Kerry Condon commands attention in revealing cut out dress at Luck series premier - Who wears short shorts? Amanda Seyfried shows off her toned legs as she smokes pot and kisses her co-star in Lovelace scenes - Pictured: Miley Cyrus poses provocatively with X-rated birthday cake at boyfriend Liam Hemsworth's party  - They haven't seen it all: Playboy twins bewildered by CBB housemates' assertion that most UK men aren't circumcised - Sex shop forced to install discreet side entrance after pub-goers CHEERED every time a customer stepped into the street - Police launch crackdown on doggers at lay-by near family picnic spot - 'Not the best thing I had ever done': Police officer fights for his job after being caught in PORN film while on duty - Beach babe at 45: Former Page 3 girl Sam Fox shows off her pin-up figure in holiday snaps

Classy stuff from the nation's self-appointed moral guardian, I'm sure you'll agree.
Fagburn prides himself on not being a prude, but can it be long before Melanie Phillip's column is accompanied by a photo of her flashing her tits? 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Equity Poll: Acting

"Almost half of all gay performers have not come out to their agents, with more than a third admitting they have experienced homophobia in the industry.
"The figures are among the findings of a survey conducted by Equity investigating whether it is safe to be ‘out’ in the entertainment industry. The survey was open to all the union’s members, with the majority of those who took part working as performers.
"Although the report found that 81% of respondents are out in their professional life, and that 94% are honest about their sexuality to their fellow performers, only 57% list their agent as someone they are open about their sexuality to..."

The Stage.
Which makes Fagburn wonder
a) what percentage of actors are gay?
b) how many are out to the public?
c) what's so bad about agents?

"Comments also suggest that actors remain fearful that coming out will hinder their prospects of being cast in certain roles such as romantic leads...
"More than half claim they fear roles available might be restricted, with 54% naming “stereotypical” casting as another and 42% saying “becoming the target of discrimination”.
"One complains: “I have seen others sidelined due to their sexuality and I know that I have been sidelined too.” Another writes that “it’s okay for a straight actor to play gay roles but harder, if not impossible, the other way round”.

Oh, that...
Isn't the whole "Can gay men act the straights?" thing so 2011?
Russell Tovey seems to be doing rather well with it.

Update: Saturday's Independent ekes an article out of this; 'Showbusiness's last secret: actors who daren't leave the closet'
It's not very good. 

Pink Pound: We're In The Money!

I thought you might find this helpful if you're working out where you could make some savings in your household budget in the new year.
It's absolutely 100% reliable and accurate and in-no-way exaggerated as it appears in Marketing Week, and is based on the "findings" of a new report by Out Now Consulting; "International market leaders in gay and lesbian marketing strategy, LGBT market statistics and market research."
According to Out Now the average annual earnings for THE GAYS is £33,000.
The median UK salary is £26,000.
But you get paid 25% more just for being a big gay.
Isn't that great?
More Champagne?

• For more on the myths of gay marketing see Gay Money: The Truth About Lesbian And Gay Economics.

Facebook: Unlike

"Facebook is in a mad hurry to make sure everyone uses its new Timeline infrastructure – so mad, it has decided to switch it from being a nice option to a mandatory feature.
"In other words, you have seven days to scour through your Facebook history and delete any embarrassing status updates, photos or videos you would rather remain forgotten.
"Timeline is the shiny new magazine-style tiled layout that creates a more visual look to your Facebook wall as opposed to the linear text-driven style we've learned to live with over the last few years.
"The Timeline feature includes a slider that lets you delve all the way back through someone's history on Facebook, pretty much to the day they were born...."

Unbelievably it looks like The Daily Mail is the only UK newspaper to cover this story; 'You WILL reveal your past! Facebook's timeline feature becomes mandatory for all users - with just 7 days to 'clean up'' 
Fagburn can't see anything going wrong if Facebook shows up every last bit of anyone's personal history.
No siree.
Apart from more gay kids being outed to their parents and kicked out of home.
Or more gay kids being bullied to death.
Well done Facebook - another winner!

Louis Walsh: Justice

"A JOBLESS dance teacher has been sentenced to six months in jail for falsely accusing X Factor judge Louis Walsh of groping him in a nightclub.
"Leonard Watters, 24, admitted making two false reports to police that the music mogul sexually assaulted him in Dublin nightspot Krystle..."

Good news.
I hope Mr Walsh went out and celebrated with his good lady wife.

GT: The Big Issue

The March issue of GT is The Naked Issue!
Exciting - I don't like magazines that have loads of those word things in.
Hang on a cockadoodling minute - wasn't the January issue The Naked Issue?
Maybe every issue's going to be The Naked Issue?
Maybe they'll change GT's name to N?

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Hunx: Hairdresser Blues

Seth Bogart solo album!
A stunning return to form! etc etc *
Out 28th February!
Free comb if you pre-order!
Woop woop!

* I haven't heard it yet.

Christopher Jefferies: J'Accuse

"It has become apparent that evidence put before the Leveson Inquiry confirms our earliest concerns about the confidentially with which the arrest and detention of our client was dealt with by those investigating the murder of Joanna Yeates.
"As a result of our attendance at the police station and of our reviewing of the material in the media, it became apparent that information had been deliberately leaked by as yet unidentified individuals in flagrant breach of their duty.
"Our client strongly believes this to be the case, as there was information within the public domain which was only known to those privy to the investigation material. Our client is of the view that this information had been leaked and we share that view.
"There needs to be an independent inquiry into this potentially criminal conduct on the part of officers from Avon and Somerset Police, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service.
"As regards any legal action against Avon and Somerset Police for wrongful arrest, this is a matter which remains under review."

Statement released by Christopher Jefferies' solicitors, The Stokoe Partnership.
Daily Mirror editor, Richard Wallace, today told the Leveson Inquiry his judgement was affected by off-the-record briefings by Avon And Somerset Police where they had appeared confident Jefferies "was their man" in the Joanna Yeates' murder case.

Update: Here's the Mirror's lightly edited account of the above.

Update 2: "The Sun has withdrawn a Supreme Court appeal against its contempt of court fine over its Chris Jefferies coverage but tabloid rival the Daily Mirror is pushing ahead with its challenge." Press Gazette January 27th.

Drug Laws: Drug Delusions

"As a country, we look back in horror now at the delusions of other eras – when it was illegal to be gay, for instance, or when women could not vote. Yet we do not stop and see that we are living through another one. Decriminalisation would end the violent illegal drug trade; drug treatment and prescription for addicts would prevent them from committing crime. Both measures would make gigantic savings on the cost of policing and imprisoning offenders, and on clearing up the consequences of their actions. They would also end the outrage of people being locked up for the crime of seeking mostly harmless fun. It's our laws that are destroying lives."

Leo Benedictus in an excellent piece in The Guardian on the changes to sentencing guidelines for drug users and "dealers".
I've never understood the idiotic hypocrisy of gay men who don't think other people should be allowed to do whatever they want with their own bodies.

Royal Ballet: The Dream Is Over

"Sergei Polunin, the youngest dancer ever to be made a principal with the Royal Ballet, has resigned with immediate effect.
"The departure of the 21-year-old Ukrainian less than two years after he was promoted to principal came out of the blue. Royal Opera House sources said they were mystified by the decision.
"Polunin was due to appear in The Dream next week and had given no indication in rehearsals that anything was amiss. But today he took Royal Ballet director Dame Monica Mason to one side and told her that he was quitting.
"Sources told The Daily Telegraph that the dancer has told colleagues that he doesn't "want to go on dancing"..."

The Daily Telegraph.

It's been a while since we've had a good ballet scandal.
I bet this turns out to be something more mundane, like another company has offered Polunin loads more money  - or he really doesn't want to go on dancing.

Update: Judith Mackrell on The Guardian blog speculates on 'What's Really Behind Sergei Polunin's Royal Ballet Emergency Exit?'
Could his story be a Billy Elliott in reverse, where his Ukrainian parents pushed him into ballet school when he'd rather have been playing football with his mates, and he's been kicking against this ever since?
Oh, there is a rumour - so far unconfirmed by Fagburn - that he is a heterosexual.  

Peter Tatchell: Happy Birthday!

He'd probably like a bottle of good Scotch.
Or maybe a washing machine.
But I guess he'd prefer it if you donate to The Peter Tatchell Foundation to help him keep on keeping on.

• A level-headed full-page profile in The Guardian. Does it call him a "national treasure"? Tick!

Breaking: Man Says "Gay"

A man said the word "gay" last night.
The man, 50, was talking to some other people in Washington DC.
"He definitely said it," local man, Buzz Cola, told Fagburn. "Right after a very long list of other words used to describe people."  
More when we get it...

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Radio Times: Circulation Boost

"Radio Times would like to apologise for a picture that has inadvertently been published in the new issue of the magazine.
"It has come to our attention that an apparently innocent photo of the Royal Marines’ 42 Commando unit – printed by Radio Times in good faith and issued by Channel 5’s publicity department to promote the documentary Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan – contains the sight of one of the marines playing a prank...
"The unnamed marine is, like the rest of his unit, posing for the photograph dressed only in shorts. What we took to be the marine’s finger proved, on closer inspection, to be another part of his anatomy.
"We have redacted the picture above, but the 28 January issue of Radio Times magazine – on sale today, priced £1.40 – went to press before the mistake was noticed."

Radio Times - on sale now and only £1.40!

Pride House: Bringing Communities Together

“The Pride House event, taking place in the same month as Gay Pride, is highly likely to become a magnet for undesirable elements of that [LGBT] community."

Friends of Clapham Common - in an objection made to Lambeth Council.

'Chairwoman Melanie Oxley told this newspaper: “We have absolutely nothing to hide and are emphatically not homophobes.
'“Our objections are based on the scale and length of the event.
'“There are undesirable elements in any community...."'

South London Press.


Mission statement, Pride House website.

So what have they got planned for this cavalcade of FILTH?

"Some highlights visitors can expect to find include live music and entertainment, an art exhibition featuring LGBT artists, sports tournaments and demonstrations with special appearances by professional athletes and big screens stationed around the venue showing televised broadcasts of Olympic events and highlights of Pride House."

Save our children from these perverts!!!

Antony And The Johnsons: Swanlights

Swanlights by Antony and the Johnsons from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

"Queer expression is where I found all my fulfillment—since childhood.
"Trans men give us so much. We have to dream for the future of men, because men need so much help. Faggots have to get on it. Trans people offer a new interpretation of how to perform as male with the knowledge of experience of the feminine in the back pocket."

Interviewed in Out.
Loads of stuff coming up from our Ant'ny...

Gay Men Don't Get Fat: The Queen Of New York

The Independent's gone large with this and a glowing profile of Simon Doonan; 'New York's Favourite Gay Man'.
He even gets a cover splash with the line; 'Is Sushi Gay Or Straight? Ask The Expert'.
Note to idiots: Mr Doonan's argument that there are two food groups, gay and straight, is, like the title of his new book ("Gay men are French women... with penises"), rather obviously a joke.
Doonan is a high-class window dresser in real life - well, they're so creative, aren't they?
The media do tend to love this kind of superfag, don't they?*
Well, they're so entertaining, aren't they?
Jonathan Harvey turned Doonan's memoirs of growing up as the gayest kid in Reading, Nasty, into Beautiful People - one of Fagburn's favourite TV programmes of recent years, so he must have something going for him.
(It's on YouTube, incidentally - Ssh!)

Except for Aunty Tom Andrew Pierce, obvs.

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Gay Agenda: Being Boring

"Dallas, Randy Roberts Potts is pushing the gay agenda by watching TV. And by ironing a shirt. Also by doing a puzzle, vacuuming a rug, simmering stew in a slow-cooker, and intermittently stroking the nape of his boyfriend Keaton's neck in a subdued, abstracted manner, the way his Munna might have stroked his hair when he was a child. It could be a typically staid and eventless evening for Randy, with one fat exception: He's doing all this on a 6-by-16-foot set on a patch of downtown sidewalk, surrounded by drifting crowds of passersby.
"With folded arms and befuddled frowns, the onlookers try to make sense of the scene—to the right, atop rugs laid directly on the concrete, there's a farm table and a bookcase stocked with cans of black-eyed peas and stewed tomatoes; to the left, a leather couch sits before a black-and-white television on which a silvery episode of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is flickering. A few of them lean in to read a printed explanation affixed to a coatrack up front. THE GAY AGENDA, it explains, IS PERFORMANCE ART DESIGNED TO FOSTER LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE. Huh. They glance up at Randy—he's dipping a spoon into the slow-cooker now, or studying the half-done puzzle—and then lower their gaze back to the paper. In capital letters, they see: THE GAY AGENDA AS CONCEIVED SHOULD BE INCREDIBLY BORING TO WATCH..."

Randy Roberts Potts is touring The Gay Agenda around Middle America from next month.
Press coverage tends to make much of Randy being the grandson of televangelist crook Oral Roberts...
Not sure what to make of this piece - part of me thinks it's cute and clever, but bigots don't really object to gay domesticity, it's the buttfucking they can't stand.

Bradley Manning: Caught

There's a useful explainer on Salon - 'How Bradley Manning's Fate Will Be Decided' - about how US court martials work.
As before, the odds are really stacked against Bradley and it looks nigh on impossible he'll get a sympathetic or fair hearing.
God bless America!

Update: Incident In New Baghdad documentary shortlisted for an Oscar.

Update 2: But if US soldiers murder 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians the military let them off.

Melanie Phillips Watch: No Idea. Anyone?

"Our society is being brainwashed into pretending that the differences between male and female don’t exist — in order to reconstruct society into some unattainable utopia of sexual and gender identicality.
"The dual goal is to marginalise men and to upend society’s fundamental moral codes. Having first been told they can behave sexually in whatever way they want, people are now being told they can be sexually whatever they want. And anyone who objects to this will be told they are a bigot..."

The Daily Mail.

You are a bigot.
And absolutely barking.

Update: Ann Widdecombe is also mad as hell.

Britain's Got Talent: Ban This Filth!

'In one witty rant after Simon told a contestant to be more “showbizzy”, ­David scoffed: “Yeah, have a bit of work done, become friends with Louis Walsh, go on holiday with Sinitta, have your picture taken with your top off and some fruit in your mouth.”
'Simon tried to brush it off by rolling his eyes and muttering: “Thank you David, you’ve made you’re point David,thank you.”
'The fun began in the first session of ­auditions. When the panel were discussing whether the Queen would like one of the acts, David piped up: “Don’t worry, they’re not talking about you Simon.”
'Later, a hopeful who did a bizarre impression of Russell Crowe in the film Gladiator, presented the judges with strange busts of themselves. Inspecting Cowell’s, David said: “Oh, ­Simon’s much camper than that!”

The Sunday Mirror.

But on reflection...

Britain's Got Talent bosses fear judges raunchy jokes will be too X rated to screen

'And one show source said: “Bosses are likely to have a word because too many sexual references would cause problems for ITV.
'“There is a lot of stuff that won’t make it through to the TV show because it’s before the watershed.”
'First new judge David Walliams started a “bromance” with Cowell and made a string of flirty sexual references. 'After gay dance duo The Sugar Dandies did a ballroom performance with lifts to Westlife’s You Raise Me Up, funnyman David asked Cowell: “Did that raise you up?”
'He also then imagined him and Cowell together and told his boss: “You would be the lifter. You understand what I mean.”
'When David asked a teenage contestant why he had a scarf at the end of his guitar the lad replied: “It keeps the strap on.”
'David then made a reference to a sex toy, and was overheard telling Cowell: “You’re going to have to edit so much of this out.”
'But it wasn’t just new boy David camping up the show with saucy comments..."

The Daily Mirror.

Here's some ropey footage of "gay dance duo" The Sugar Dandies for your delectation and delight.
God help us if there's a war!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Gay Rights Movement: 2,000,000 And Counting

2,000,000 views on YouTube in five days.
La lucha sigue...

Update: A good critique by Will Harris on So So Gay.

Cosmo Landesman: Some Of My Best Friends Are dept.

'My gay friends are always keen to claim any distinguished public figure, past or present, as gay. Shakespeare? “Gay!” Cary Grant? “Gay!” Tom Cruise? “Gay!” Bruce Springsteen? “Gay!” (Sorry, boys, but that’s at least one gay too far...)
'Anyway, name your favourite writer, philosopher or politician, and out will come the cry of “Gay!” Yet mention J Edgar Hoover, the most powerful gay man of the 20th century, and what do you get? Silence...'

Cosmo Landesman talking crap in The Sunday Times, as per.
Gay men are hysterical, aren't they?
What with all their grabbing claiming 'They is all the gays!' stuff.
Nice of him to out Tom Cruise, though.
And if you think you get silence when you mention J Edgar Hoover to a gay man, you're profoundly deaf, dear.
Like a gayer hasn't just written a film about it - which you're reviewing!
Oh do fuck off.

The Daily Mail: Can You Spot What's Wrong With This Headline?

'Will 'Dean Jennifer' And His Chaplain Boyfriend Tear The Church Apart?'

The Daily Mail.

PS This story may not be true.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Johann Hari: Goodbye-ee

"I’d like to thank the Independent for the privilege of working for them over the past nine years, and for offering me my job back, starting in a few weeks. But after nearly six months living in New York City, and plenty of time to reflect, I’ve decided to not take them up on their kind offer.
"There are two reasons. I’m willing to take the flack for my errors myself: when you screw up, you should pay a price. But I’m not willing to see other people, who are played no part in those errors and are unimpeachably decent people, take the flack too. It’s not fair on them. The Independent has been great to me, and we need its principles in the public arena without distractions.
"Secondly, while doing some journalistic retraining in the US, I’ve started working on a book on a subject I believe is important and requires urgent action. To be done properly it needs international travel and the kind of in depth focus that’s not possible when you are writing a heavily researched [sic] column at the same time. So, while I’ll be writing occasional articles elsewhere, I’ll be mainly delving deeply into this one subject for now..."

Johann Hari writing on his blog.
So the rumour about him taking a year out was true.
My hunch is his mea culpa book will be about will be about how LGBTs are treated around the world...

Peter Tatchell: He's Still A National Treasure!

Another piece in The Times which calls Peter "a national treasure" - ie bless him, but please don't listen to anything he says - and endlessly goes on about him living in a council flat; ie the journalist has never been in one before.
Then tries to make out he's a mentalist.

Donate to The Peter Tachell Foundation.

Update: Some gushing drivel in The Observer by leading servant of power Nick Cohen.

Reformation: Post TLC

"The reformation brought a further hardening of attitudes. The most fervent Protestants campaigned vigorously to reinstate the biblical death penalty for adultery and other sexual crimes. Wherever Puritan fundamentalists gained power, they pursued this goal – in Geneva and Bohemia, in Scotland, in the colonies of New England and in England itself. After the Puritans had led the parliamentary side to victory in the English civil war, executed the King and abolished the monarchy, they passed the Adultery Act of 1650. Henceforth, adulterers and incorrigible fornicators and brothel-keepers were simply to be executed, as sodomites and bigamists already were..."

From The Guardian's book pages by Faramerz Dabhoiwela.

Not sure I agree with this - the English Civil War ushered in much freedom.
Can it really be a coincidence that gay life began to flourish a mere two generations later?

Hate Crime: Should The Bible Be Banned?

"Three men have been found guilty of a gay hate crime after handing out leaflets calling for homosexual people to be given the death sentence..."

BBC News.

As before, the Bible calls for homosexual people to be given the death sentence.
So why single out these chaps? 
They give it out in hotels, ffs!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Etta James: 1938-2012

Fagburn: Nothing

There's nothing to comment 'pon at the moment - so you may just get me gabbering away, randomly.
In the meantime, here is an album sleeve I like very much; Fairport Convention, Unhalfbricking.
In fact, it is my favourite.

Brian Sewell: Bitching For A Living

'My predominant response to David Hockney's exhibition of Yorkshire landscapes at the Royal Academy is "Why?". Why is there so much of it? Why is so much of it so big, so towering, so vast, so overblown and corpulent? Why is it so repetitive? Why is everything so unreally bright, so garish, discordant, raw and Romany? Why is the brushwork so careless, crude and coarse? For me this overwhelming accumulation of his recent work is the visual equivalent of being tied hand and foot and dumped under the loudspeakers of the Glastonbury Festival...

'Indeed, half these pictures are fit only for the railings of Green Park, across the way from the Royal Academy, and would never be accepted for the Summer Exhibition were they sent in under pseudonyms.
As for Hockney's rivalry with his master, Claude, this is sickening impertinence, contemptible...'

The Evening Standard.
Apart from the "Romany" bit.

Harry Derbidge: The Only Way Is Up!

"Nobody can say 'shut up' like me and Amy. No one can take away the vajazzles, the honeys, the professionals, the 100 per cents, well-jels, the shut-ups."

Harry  Derbidge.
"Gutted teen"/"Camp star" - The Sun.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Fagburn: Blackout

Fagburn has shut down for 24 hours.
This is partly in protest against SOPA, but mainly because without Wikipedia I can't cut-and-paste entire paragraphs and pretend I know about things I don't.
I am also upset I can't re-read the glowing Wikipedia article I wrote about myself.
Fight da power!

The Coalition & Gay Marriage: Fantasy Island

"There is absolutely no question of the Coalition Government abandoning our commitment to legalise gay marriage."

Nick Clegg, there - a politician who is famous for keeping his promises.
Quoted in The Independent, who are running big-time with this bizarre pantomime.
Here's their leader comment.
What commitment, Nick?
Was it a pledge in your non-existent joint manifesto?
If the Coalition are committed then why are you having a consultation?
So there's going to be a bill introduced within this parliamentary term, is there?
You're living in a land of make believe, with elves and fairies and little frogs with funny green hats!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Leveson Inquiry: The Last Word?

"I do think that statutory regulation is not required. Most of the heinous crimes that came up and have made such a splash in front of this inquiry have already been illegal.
"Contempt of court is illegal, phone-tapping is illegal, policemen taking money is illegal. All of these things don't need a code, we already have laws for them.
"The fact that these laws were not rigorously enforced is again due to the failure of the police, the interaction of the police and News International - and let's be honest about this, the fact that our politicians have been very, very involved in ways that I think are not sensible with senior News International people."

Ian Hislop addressing the Leveson Inquiry earlier.

There is a terrible irony in how the inquiry has revealed much dirt about how newspapers operate, but does anything else really need to be said beyond this?

PS But if you want more, the full transcript of Hislop's appearance is here.

Leveson Inquiry: Freedom Of Speech

"She was openly gay… we regarded it as a matter of freedom of speech… we didn't regard it as pejorative. There are gay websites that use that term in a positive way."

John Witherow, Sunday Times' editor, at the Leveson Inquiry, tries to excuse AA Gill calling Clare Balding a "dyke".
In 2010, the Press Complaints Commission upheld Balding's complaint against The Sunday Times - a decision perhaps swayed by Witherow's dismissive reply to her initial complaint to him.