Saturday, 31 December 2011

Bradley Manning: A New Year Message

“I want you to know how much Bradley and his family appreciate the continuing support of so many, especially during the recent Article 32 hearing. I visited Bradley the day after Christmas – he is doing well and his spirits are high."

Bradley’s Aunt Debra via Bradley Manning Support Network.

• Glenn Greenwald on The Intellectual Cowardice Of Bradley Manning’s Critics on

Daily Telegraph: Rich Homosexual Goes To Beach

"When you're a maverick fashion designer on the scale of Marc Jacobs (as well as two eponymous fashion lines under his belt he also heads up the creative direction of Louis Vuitton), hitting the beach is not just any old activity: it's your very own catwalk.
"With itsy-bitsy shorts a staple of Jacobs's beach attire - perfect for flaunting his tight and toned gym-honed physique and colourful collection of tattoos - the designer has been putting our faded BHS beach towels and cheap raffia bags to shame.
"Rocking up for a day's frolicking on the Caribbean island of St Barts, Jacobs was seen with his ex-fiancé Lorenzo Martone (awkard? Apparently not) and a roomy, black Hermès Birkin bag stuffed with Stephen Sprouse for Louis Vuitton beach towels..."

The Daily Telegraph.

Please kill me.

Matthew Parris: Philosophy Masterclass

"And anyway, is it true that I have a boil on my bottom? We can argue about whether it matters — but is it true? We can argue about whether publication would be appropriate — but is it true? We can argue about the public interest in knowing about my skin complaints or a famously alabaster-skinned actress’s facelift — but is either true?"

Matthew Parris gives Karl Popper a run for his money in The Times.

Letters To The Guardian: Still Okay For Guardian Readers To Think Trans People Are A Joke

My American friend's family specialise in embarrassing other family members when they meet them at airports (Many happy returns, Weekend, 24 December). My favourite was when one of the brothers was met by his family holding up a big sign reading "We loved you as Victoria – we'll love you as Victor".

Carole Gray
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire

The Guardian.

I'm appalled The Guardian ran this as a "funny".
You, too?
Contact The Guardian readers' editor
The office is closed til January 3rd, but you can contact the letter writer directly on  and politely ask her why she thinks this is funny.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Patti Smith: Happy 65th Birthday

Using a complicated mathematical formula based on how likely I am to cry on hearing a record, and how often it has filled me with hope when I despair, this is my favourite record of all time.
Thanks Patti.


Tesco: Some GAYS Get Angry About Something That Didn't Happen

EDIT: Just realised this was misfiled and "lost" - so reposting it here for now...

Pink News has published a most odd "Exclusive".

'Exclusive: Tesco set to drop future Pride funding days into Christian boycott'

A few brief bulletpoints:

• I can't see how anything in the story backs up the statement made in that headline.

• Isn't this more like Christian Institute's "exclusive"? They put it out as a press release this morning [Dec 23].

• The Christian Institute/Pink News story is false. Tesco had not committed to funding Pride in the future. Thus they could not have "dropped it".

• The claim that Tesco has caved in to a threatened Christian Institute boycott is a self-serving fantasy put out by the CI.

• I think Tesco should be applauded if in future they donate not to Pride London - probably the gay event/group in the UK who find it easiest to attract (corporate) sponsorship - and commit to long-term support for LGBT workers groups. And how does this fit with them running scared of the CI for funding gay groups?

• The readers' comments on Pink News are depressing - "BOO! Let's boycott Tesco!!!" - but what do you expect people to think? My hope for 2012 is less "But I read it in the gay press..." credulity.

There are so many things Tesco do to get angry over and campaign about.
This is not one of them.

PS The reason I realised I'd "mislaid" this, is cause I went looking for it as Queerty have just run a story WHICH ADDS EVEN MORE NONSENSE TO THE MIX!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Bradley Manning: Almost Gone

Graham Nash - of Crosby, Stills & fame - has written a song about Bradley Manning.
Love Bradley as we do, if someone wrote a song about him its potential for barfability/laughability would be high - but this is very good.

• You can watch an interesting Al Jazeera report on Bradley Manning and the media here. Glenn Greenwald talks about the use of smears and character assassination against alleged whistleblowers...

Taylor Lautner: Couple Of Morons Think Obvious Fake Mag Cover Is Real

Hold the front page!
People funny boy.
And thick.

Douglas Booth: Expectation

This Christmas, a new king of the tellybox was crowned!
Douglas Booth won much praise playing Pip in the BBC's Great Expectations.
Young Mr Booth's best-known previous roles have been Boy George in the biopic, Worried About The Boy, and Isherwood's rough trade lover, Heinz, in Christopher And His Kind.
Tis the final instalment of Great Expectations tonight - haven't seen it, but I guess it's safe to assume he'll get buggered in this, too.

Update: Who the Dickens is Douglas Booth? Meet TV's latest teen heart-throb The Sun.
"He also recently appeared on the cover of Gay Times magazine. But don't worry girls, he is straight."

King Ludwig II Of Bavaria: We Three Queens

"Brian, you may not be mad, but Catholic, queer, in love with Wagner - there do seem to be points of intersection here..."

Matthew Parris's first question to Brian Sewell, who chose Mad King Ludwig for his Great Lives on Radio 4.
The programme is a hoot - I think Miss Sewell and Mrs Parris may have been at the Christmas sherry.
And now I know Brian is a fan of his royal mad-as-a-lorry-ness, I promise never to write anything bad about him again.
Unless Mr R Sewell starts writing homophobic crap for the Daily Mail again, obvs.

Evan Davis Watch: Cape Crusader

Did any eagle-eyed viewers see Evan Davis presenting a story on BBC TV News on Boxing Day about the Cape Verde economy?
It was most informative, I can tell you.
BBC don't put news programmes on iPlayer, but Evan has filed a report here.
I suppose at this time of year a lot of peoples' minds begin wondering how fares the ecomomy of Cape Verde - and the BBC was probably snowed under with requests from curious licence payers demanding their money's worth.
But even so it did seem rather cruel of "Auntie Beeb" to send Mr Davis to this tropical island paradise over Christmas - a time when a chap should surely be with his family.
I just hope they allowed Mr Davis to take his good lady wife.

Sue Carroll: 1953-2011

Sue Carroll: A Born Fighter Who Stood Up For The Underdog

SUE CARROLL always said she had “the hide of a rhino and the claws of a tiger”.
But there was so much more than that to the Daily Mirror columnist who died on Christmas Day, aged only 58...
Sue’s columns tackled a wide range of issues – racism, the NHS, gay rights, royalty, bonkers bureaucracy, bankers, betrayal and celebrity excess. And, when it was needed, she didn’t hold back in puncturing over-inflated egos...

Daily Mirror.

I'll have to take the Mirror's word for it that Sue Carroll championed the gay underdog - I can't recall her doing this, and the Mirror's (admittedly ropey) search engine brings up no gay stories by her.
Nor is she one of the 30something people who have been nominated for Stonewall's Journalist Of The Year since its inception.
So I typed "Sue Carroll Mirror gay" into Google and four stories came up in the first ten pages.

Police Forces Gay-Friendly Recruitment Campaign
"What do they plan to do... trawl Hampstead Heath?"

Gay Law Grossly Unfairy [Sic]
"I'm baffled to learn the Home Office, in a review of sexual offences, proposes to repeal the term 'gross indecency' - making it alright for gay men to cottage and cruise - in other pick up and have sex with men in public lavatories and parks."
[A daft new offence was created of "having sex in a public lavatory" - possibly thanks to Sue, who can say?]

Howay Gays
"NEWCASTLE'S Labour Council has decided to create a special gay quarter in the city because the 'Pink Pound' - the spending power of homosexuals - is all going to Manchester. This can only cause havoc with traditional Geordie culture.
"Can we now expect Lindisfarne's greatest hit to become The Fag On The Tyne and will the Toon Army applaud Alan Queerer while chanting Gaydon Races?
"And what of our famous contributions to television: Bender, I Like Me Lads and Dyker Grove don't have quite the same ring.
"As for our celebrated dish - stotty cake - it doesn't bear thinking about."

Barrymore's Crocodile Tears Make Me Sick - on his coming out in 2001.

Oh dear.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Fagburn: Taking A Break Til Wednesday (Maybe Thursday). Oh Yeah, And Seasons Greetings And That

I was meant to go away yesterday, but due to unforeskinned circumcisions am going away today (in a bit).
Don't think I'll be blogging til Wednesday.
Maybe Thursday.
Enjoy your elves, dudes.

George Michael: Back! Back!! Back!!!

They're both famous gaffe-prone Greek dudes who hang around with queens - but WHO wins the battle of today's front pages?

George Michael: Daily Star, The Guardian, The Independent and The Sun.

Prince Philip: The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror.*

Fleet Street has spoken! Abolish the royal family!!!

Apparently, the first official confirmation the media had that George Michael really was back in the UK was when they were told he would be giving a press conference outside his house in an hour or two.
One joke - that spoke much truth about media cynicism and cruelty - was that the Mail had two different news stories ready to go online at the click of a mouse, "Foxy Knoxy" style.
Actually the joke was that the Mail published the wrong one - the aforementioned preparing for all eventualities is common practice in the press.

Anyway... how wonderful to know George is finally home and on the mend.
Merry Christmas.


* Prince Philip also got hon menches on the front pages of The Sun and The Daily Telegraph.

Update: The Sun online's plug for its iPad version shows a front-page with Philip bigged up and George relegated to the corner.
The one above is the first pressing of the front page papers send out to Newsnight, Sky News etc. I'll tell you if they've swapped it round when I am braced to venture outside pon this wintry morn.

Obligatory Sentimental Heartwarming Christmas Story

Matthew Banks - the total gaylord fan of musicals who bunked off jury service so he could go and see Chicago in that London, but was dropped in it by his (now ex?) boyfriend - has been released from Forest Bank young offender institution after just four days.
Cut to: Footage of reunion with Mum; snowflakes fall; Darlene Love starts singing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home); the adorable little nipper from the John Lewis ad appears bearing gifts; world pretends it's not having a little cry. FIN.

PS Note the Mail headline begins with the ever so slightly loaded phrase, "I'm Free!"

Update: Matthew says "he was locked in his cell for his own safety after his fellow inmates found out that he was gay."

Gay Mags: Cover Up

This story has been bubbling away all year, so it seems fitting it rears its stupid head again just as 2011 draws to a close.
The day when lads' mags and fag mags are only on sale covered-up to protect the kiddies from seeing Photoshopped pctures of people in swimwear seems to be moving ever closer.
As part of the Conservative's contribution to puritanical hysteria, sex panic and ultimately pointless token gestures the Telegraph reports that businesses are being asked to take a number of self-censoring measures, lest the government bring in some more stupid laws;

"In a letter to business leaders inviting them to meet the Prime Minister, Sarah Teather, the children’s minister, warned that companies must “demonstrate the real difference they are making for families”. She said: “The Prime Minister and I will expect to see concrete progress and for this to feel real and meaningful to parents and children.”

According to the Telegraph, Teather's letter mentions stopping peer-to-peer marketing campaigns (I agree with this, so it probably wasn't the best place to start...), ratings videos for music videos, a ban on (undefined) "sexualised images" on outdoor advertising; everywhere now, not just near schools - remember what Jello Biafra warned;
"Censorship is like that certain brand of potato chips. Nobody can stop
with just one."

"So-called “lads’ magazines” and newspapers with sexualised images on their covers must not be in easy view of children in shops. A code of practice already exists for newsagents and retailers. “However, application of the code is very patchy and there are many shops, including many well-known high street names where these magazines and newspapers are very clearly visible to children,” Miss Teather said. “There is no reason these magazines could not be sold bagged or shelved behind modesty boards provided by publishers and wholesalers and we expect to see a great deal of progress on this issue.'”

Oh dear. They'll be banning jokes about Jesus next...

Friday, 23 December 2011

Gary Speed: Reading Between The Lines

An interesting and oblique leader column in The Times today about Gary Speed, Untold Story.*
And I think it's interesting precisely because it is so oblique.
It's basically wondering aloud if we wouldn't know what caused Speed's death if he hadn't died in the year of Hackgate and at the time of the Leveson Inquiry?
"In the past, tabloids would have hunted this story down. Doing this now, however, might not seem wise. The press is, after all, under investigation. And, because some newspapers have failed to make the public interest case for their stories, they have lost confidence in their ability to do so. Many newsrooms are also, rightly, questioning their methods. As a result, this story is being left alone.
"But the question has to be asked: is this reticence a good thing? Precisely because the case is such a hard one, Mr Speed’s death provides a good test of the arguments being made in the debate now taking place on press privacy."
And thus the questioning and speculation has taken place in the virtual world, on chatrooms, forums and blogs - Gary Speed was the most searched for name on Fagburn this year, by a very long margin.
The header to the leader asks; "Gary Speed’s death raises matters of public interest that need to be reported".
"Public interest" in the causes of the death of a sportsman - no matter how popular and succesful - seems a ridiculous claim.
But then The Times' sister papers The Sun and The News Of The World would often cry "public interest" to defend their most indefensible actions.
They add: "It is complicated because the extent of public interest in Mr Speed’s death is impossible to calculate until after reporting work has begun."
The Times also claim that they "know very little", but they would say that, wouldn't they?
The conflation of these lines makes Fagburn wonder what they've heard.
As does an earlier line; "Although the inquest into his death has not been concluded, it appears that Mr Speed committed suicide."
An inquest unconcluded after a month is unusual.
Note also the sense of doubt now over his "apparent suicide" (A phrase used by Private Eye two weeks ago).
The Times' leader concludes by applauding the Leveson Inquiry; "But it is critical, too, that we do not live in a society in which rumour takes the place of reporting, and misinformation triumphs over truth."
Much old media seem unaware - or aware and angry/jealous - that the internet is that you can not regulate the internet.
How interesting that The Times runs this leader at a time when many have concluded that the old media needs more regulating?
And if anyone is wondering what I know I must stress; I'm sorry, I haven't a clue.

PS If you want to see the current state of play of the many Gary Speed rumours just Google "Gary Speed rumours".
It doesn't quite seem to back up the Times' argument that at the time I type the two most popular search results are stories from The Daily Mail.

* It's behind the Times' paywall, of course - many local libraries will give people a code for this as part of their membership.

Update Saturday 24th December: Can anyone think of another time one newspaper has re-printed another's leader column verbatim, as The Daily Mail does here? Hmmm...

Lesbians Kissing: This Is History!

This photo made it to the front page of both The Independent and The Guardian.
And was given much prominence inside almost every other UK newspaper.*
"Lesbians, kiss, iconic, historic, repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, some women in the armed forces are lesbots? Who knew?!! etc etc"
The Times wrote a leader column on it; "The picture of that kiss already has the look of a photographic classic.** And perhaps its most interesting aspect is that the bystanders in the background do not seem to be taking any special notice. Some things change for the better."
That's nice, dear.
But why did the UK papers give it so much special notice, then?
Perhaps a clue was given by Evan Davis on Radio 4's Today programme?
After an excited-sounding John Humphrys read out his favourite lines from The Times, Evan added drily; "Some girl-on-girl action there..."

* I can't find it on the Daily Express's online version - or far more surprisingly The Daily Star's - will check print copies later.
** Probably because it looks like an homage to Alfred Eisenstaedt's VJ Day In Times Square, one of the most famous photographs of all time. Duh.

Rehab: Friends

The chap on the left is James Ingham who writes the riveting Rehab column in The Daily Star.
Like so many of the best celebrity gossip columnists, it looks like he is a friend of Dorothy the stars!
Well done.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tim Minchin: Jesus Wept

If you've been on Twitter this afternoon, you may be a bit bored of hearing about this by now.
But if not...
Tim Minchin wrote a special song about our lord Jesus for Jonathan Ross's christmas special and recorded it last week.
As you can see above, it's a gentle comedy number pointing out that claims that Mr Christ had supernatural magical powers are rather silly.
The day before broadcast the song has been ordered to be cut by Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television.
Possibly because he thinks it's still the 15th Century or something.
Here's Tim's "whiny little rant about it" on his blog.
If you think this decision is rather silly, why not send a polite email to*

* It's worth noting that ITV's website does not show a direct email for complaints, but you can always phone them; "Calls cost 5p per minute from a BT landline..."

Andrea True: 1943-2011

This sad news has taken about six weeks to break out of Jamaica...

George Michael Vs The Mirror: Sixth Time Lucky?

'George Michael has left hospital and will head straight to London for Christmas'
The Daily Mirror online, December 22nd 2011.

"...However, a spokesperson for George said: "Nothing's been confirmed. There have been a lot of rumours coming out of Vienna these past couple of weeks.""
The Sun online, December 22nd 2011.

"A doctor treating George Michael in Vienna says the British pop star is "doing well" as he recovers from pneumonia, but cannot say if he will be able to spend Christmas at home."
The Sunday Mirror, December 18th 2011.

'George Michael 'home for Christmas'
The Daily Mirror, December 7th 2011.

"Doctors said his pneumonia is "severe".
The singer, 48 — in hospital in Austria — may be bedridden until Christmas."
The Daily Mirror, November 26th 2011.

'George Michael ‘back in a week’'
The Daily Mirror, November 25th 2011.

'George Michael home for Christmas after winning pneumonia fight'
The Daily Mirror, November 24th 2011.


The Daily Mail: What's More Obscene Than Charging £2.50 For A Piece Of Card?

'Stores 'ashamed' to sell religious cards... but obscene ones litter the High Street'

"Supermarkets have become ‘ashamed’ of selling Christmas cards with religious themes, Christian leaders said yesterday.
"They claimed a creeping ‘multicultural indoctrination’ had led to an aversion to Christianity, and that shops were worried about stocking cards that might offend other faiths.
"The rebuke to Britain’s big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – came as a snapshot poll by the Daily Mail revealed the tiny number of religious cards on sale.
"Of 6,576 cards sold individually, just 36 – 0.5 per cent – featured scenes such as Jesus in a manger or angels..."


"Christmas cards emblazoned with obscenities are on sale across Britain’s High Streets.
"One card showing a quintessential 50s family inside a wreath reads ‘Merry Christmas W*****’, while another depicts a pair of carol singers with the words ‘Merry F****** Christmas.’ A third says: ‘Merry Christmas You F****** F*****.’
"In total, dozens of the explicit cards are on sale in branches of Scribbler. Each costs around £2.50...
"In the branch of the store in London’s Kensington High Street, the filth-ridden cards are part of a large display containing other family-orientated festive greetings.
"One shows Santa saying: ‘Shh! Nobody knows I’m gay’ while another shows him with a cigarette in hand and the words: ‘F*** off! I’m smoking.’"

The Daily Mail.

Supermarkets are huge commercial concerns.
All they care about is what sells - and they put a heck of a lot of thought/research into finding this out.
Do you really think if there was any more demand for cards with pictures of the little baby Jesus on, they wouldn't be piling them high?
And anyway, as any fule kno, winterlude was a perfectly nice pagan festival until the Roman Emperor Constantine hijacked it in the 4th Century.
So find your own holiday, matey.

Hip-Hop: Gay Cliché

The Guardian has just published a (short) article about Hip-Hop and homophobia!
Well, it has been two weeks since the last one.
Apparently, the Hip-Hop has always had an "uneasy relationship" with homosexuality, but in 2011 it see vtb;kjldbvklaguyked#'io,

Oh sorry about that.
I must have fallen asleep.

Forbes: The Richest People In The World

A late entry in Fagburn's annual search for the stupidest story of the year;
'10 Things You Didn't Know About Gay Travel' by Beth Greenfield on
"At first the survey was to build the industry, to show travel companies the strength of gay and lesbian travel spending,” notes David Paisley of CMI [Community Marketing Inc]. “That message has been well received, as nearly every major travel company and destination now has an LGBT marketing strategy. Today, the study is to better inform our clients about changing patterns within a more mature LGBT travel industry.” Based on this survey and Department of Commerce tourism statistics, CMI estimates that gay and lesbian tourism generates more than $65 billion a year in the U.S. alone."
The reason you didn't know that "gay and lesbian tourism generates more than $65 billion a year in the U.S. alone" is because it's totally made-up.
Community Marketing Inc say on their website;
"The facts are plain: gay men and lesbians travel more, own more homes and cars, spend more on electronics, and have the largest amount of disposable income of any niche market. Undaunted by events in the news, gay and lesbian consumers make up at least 10% of the consumer market."
Not one of these is a fact, FFS.
For an excellent website exposing the laughable lies of the gay marketeers - who have a vested, financial interest in maintaining the fictions that lesbians and gay men are all as rich as Croesus and "make up at least 10% of the consumer market" - please visit Joe Clark's Gay Money.
Thank you.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Detective Sergeant Nick Mohammed: Bent Copper?

Just listened to episode two of this, Detective Sergeant Nick Mohammed.
Funniest thing on the wireless since Warhorses Of Letters.
And the dimwitted camp* copper is surely the finest (non-equine!) radio comedy creation since Ed Reardon.
So there.

* I haven't heard Nick express any love/lust interest either way yet, but he's screaming even louder than Julian & Sandy. Together.

Musicals: Free The Manchester 1!

"A teenage juror who falsely told a court he was ill so he could sneak off to watch a West End musical with his mother will spend Christmas behind bars after his lie was exposed.
"Matthew Banks, 19, had tickets to a matinee performance of the hit show Chicago last Friday but failed to tell the court in Manchester about this when he was called for jury service.
"He sat on the jury for an assault case throughout last week but was determined not to miss his pre-Christmas treat, so on the fifth day of the trial he rang the court to say he was unwell.
"The university student then travelled to London to enjoy the musical with his 49-year-old mother, Debbie Ennis. Meanwhile, the case was adjourned.
"But Banks was rumbled even before the curtain rose at the Garrick Theatre, as a court official had telephoned his student digs to find out whether he would be fit to return to the jury after the weekend.
"His boyfriend Christian Orr answered the phone and said Banks was not there because he had ‘gone to London to see a show’..."

The Daily Mail.
The tickets were a christmas present from his boyfriend, who - ironically - found he couldn't get the day off work.
Matthew was sentenced to two weeks in a young offender institution - lucky bitch.
Imagine if they started lucking up all young gay men who've been ditzy and devious!

What's noteworthy about the Mail's story is that, although it makes several references to his boyfriend, it never uses the g-word.
Pink Paper, of course, would have stated the bleedin' obvious and said that he was "openly gay."
Sad that the Mail is more progressive and less patronising here than some gay media would be.

Work It: A Joke

A lot of people in the US are getting very worked up about Work It, a new "comedy" series - due to air from January 3rd - about two unemployed straight dudes who dress as women in an attempt to get jobs.
GLAAD and Human Rights Camapign have taken out a full-page ad in Variety telling ABC not to air the show; "Work It will harm transgender women... deserve better than ridicule".
"By encouraging the audience to laugh at at the characters' attempts at womanhood, the show gives license to similar treatment."
Fagburn has pointed out many times how trans people now occupy much the same cultural space as gay men once did; people who can only be laughed at or feared.
The campaign is complicated somewhat by the fact the lead characters aren't actually transgender - but I don't think this detracts from what seems to be Work It's snide message "Men in dresses = funny".

• More on GLAAD's campaign here.

The Leveson Inquiry: "Privacy Is For Paedos"

"'Privacy is for paedos," declared former News of the World man and tabloid veteran Paul McMullan in the midst of his evidence at the Leveson inquiry. He had only just observed that "in 21 years of invading people's privacy I've never found anybody doing any good" – statements that together amounted to a credo for the brutal Sunday tabloid world of which McMullan became the chief spokesman in the otherwise stifled confines of courtroom 73.
"The public interest, he said, added up to no more than the sheer number of copies the News of the World could sell. "Circulation defines the public interest" – which meant that everything was legitimate as long as the public bought the paper. "You have to appeal to what the reader wants – this is what the people of Britain wants. I was simply serving their need," he said, before describing a career of capers justified by the observation that "you just don't go up to a paedophile priest and say, hello good sir, you are a priest, do you like abusing choir boys?" Which, he argued, apparently gave cause for a culture of blagging, surveillance, and even phone hacking, although he stopped short of incriminating himself on that one...
"McMullan paid one "rent boy" £2,000, then dressed up as another to expose a priest. Having snapped the picture of the reverend in flagrante, the two ran off in their underpants "through a nunnery at midnight" to get the story safely into the paper. "That under Piers Morgan," McMullan said..."

It was only spanking, incidentally.
The Leveson Inquiry closes for the christmas recess today.
Swings, roundabouts...
Maybe Fagburn should do, too.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Hackgate: Pleased, Glad, Grateful

"I am pleased that News International have expressed their regret for the distress caused to me over phone hacking and have agreed substantial compensation.
"I'm glad, after a long period, this issue is finally resolved and I'm able to understand better the actions taken against me by the media.
"I'm grateful to the current team at News International for trying to put wrongs right and settle this honourably.
"Thanks also to Charlotte Harris, my lawyer, for bringing this to my attention in the first place. I will, of course, continue to assist the police and Leveson inquiry with their investigations."

Statement by "disgraced" former Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten.
No coverage of this says when he was hacked - in 2006, the time Oaten was outed by The News Of The World for having sex with rent boys - and engaging in acts "too disgusting to be described in a family newspaper" - or after?
News International also settled claims brought by Calum Best, Paul Dage, James Hewitt, Ulrika Jonsson, Michelle Milburn and Abi Titmuss.
Mr Oaten is currently chief executive of the International Fur Trade Association and is available for public speaking engagements.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Bradley Manning: "The Gay Defense"

The American magazine The Week gives a round-up of the (poor) media coverage of Bradley Manning's legal team's unexpected decision to use "a gay defense" - after many of his supporters had argued his sexuality was irrelevant to the case.
My favourite "think" piece in the insanely offensive stakes is Homosexuals Support Gay Soldier In Treason Trial from Far Right Side News.
Subtext: Ya can't trust dem fags.
If you want to cut through the distortion, Kevon Gosztola at has been live blogging from the hearing since it began.

PS The Passion Of Bradley Manning by Chase Madar will be published in February.

Exclusive: Kim Jong-il Takes Strictly Crown

Secretive North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, is the winner of this year's Strictly Come Dancing, Fagburn can reveal.
Kim, who is openly mad, beat his closest rival the former Czech leader, Vaclav Havel, in a phone vote.
He wowed the judges in the final round by dancing to Born This Way by Lady Gaga.
The ballroom champion said; "All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has supported me.
"I have had the most incredible experience. I have been on the best show on TV and I am just honoured."
The rating's-winning final was filmed at the Downton Abbey Ballroom.
Kim looked overjoyed as he was given his prize, one of those Heston Blumenthal christmas puddings with an orange in it from Waitrose.
In a figure that's completely made-up, these are now selling for as much as £4,000 on eBay.
Kim was congratulated by his civil partner, Russell Grant.
President Kim is 4'2".

• Yes, the christmas news drought continues apace...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Hamley's: And Pink For A Boy

The mad Rod Liddle in his weekly Sunday Times video on Hamley's "controversial" decision to stop having seperate sections for boys' and girls' toys.
Good of Hamley's to announce this in the run-up to Christmas.
Note how all the parents Liddle interviews say they wouldn't be bothered if their sons play with "girls' stuff."
Fagburn spent much of my childhood playing with my Action Men and it never did me any harm...

George Michael: It Is With Great Regret...

That today's tabloids report that George Michael is being discharged from hospital and will be home for Christmas and has not died of an Aids-related illness as they were clearly hoping.

Update: On Wednesday the Mirror quote one Dr Christoph Zielinski who "told state broadcaster ORF that whether Michael can go home for Christmas 'is something that we are not in the position to decide.'"
You couldn't make it up etc...

The Observer: The Photo Of Dorian Gray

Douglas Booth as Dorian Gray: formal blazer, £119.99, and trousers, £59.99, both Zara ( Evening shirt, £99, Thomas Pink ( Feather cape, £12, Peacocks ( Interchangeable cufflinks, £255, Lanvin ( Photograph: Jason Hetherington for the Observer

No idea. Anyone?

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Bradley Manning: Your Wonderful Gay Press At Work

Pink Paper has finally published a story about Bradley Manning.
And he's only been in prison for 18 months.
Oh, and apparently he is "openly-gay"
It is here.
Well done, Peter Lloyd - the worst "openly-gay" journalist in the world!
The ever shitter Gay Star News has decided he's guilty.
Thus negating the need for a trial.
Well done all!

Update: I'll do a round-up of press coverage during the week. It's unexpectedly turned out that his defence is claiming his sexuality is key, and the army prosectors saying it is irrelevant. The press seems to be going for the "crazy mixed-up fag" line, like this dreadful piece in the Daily Mail.

PPS: You can download Greg Mitchell's e-book, Bradley Manning: Truth And Consequences, for free on Monday (US time, obvs). Tis good.

Pinkwash: But You Are Blanche, You Are!

"Some people tell me, 'They're using your films, your liberal message of gay-oriented films as a fig leaf. I've been accused of cooperating with the government or the establishment to create that fig leaf."

Director Eytan Fox in a very confused piece in Variety about gay men in "the Israeli film industry".
If you're appalled by the racist four page (!) ads for Israeli "tourism" currently running in the British gay press, please write to the editors.

Gyles Brandreth: "A Manbag!?"

Apropos of nothing beyond it made me laugh like a hyena on heat, here's a photo of Gyles Brandreth as Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest at Riverside Studios.
Now - quite inexplicably - a musical...

The Independent: The Day I Came Out

"I really enjoyed reading this article.
My only criticism would be that everyone interviewed seems to be from an upper middleclass background, going to university etc.
Why not find out what it was like for a joiner or a binman on a council estate in Glasgow coming out to their parents? LGBT people are everywhere and do all different jobs."

Reader's comment from KennyH288 posted after an article in The Independent, 'The Day I Came Out' featuring Simon Callow, Ben Bradshaw, Stella Duffy, Heather Peace and Stephen K Amos.

Stella Duffy replies;
"I'm not at all from a middle class, or upper-middle-class background. As the youngest of 7, I benefited hugely from the education that comes to a) the youngest, and b) growing up in NZ 1970. (ps - I'm 48, not 38!) I totally agree there is a class issue to be addressed, but I don't think your assumptions are necessarily correct about the people featuring in this collection of interviews, nor the implied suggestion that working class people - ie, my family - can't 'cope' with a gay child."

Barefoot Bandit: Seven Years, Three Months

Colton Harris-Moore, the “Barefoot Bandit,” stood bolt upright in orange jail garb before Judge Vicki I. Churchill in the small courtroom here on Friday and was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison. His hands were folded in front of him because they were shackled, and he struggled to hold back tears as he pleaded guilty to 33 state charges including burglary and identity theft.

The young man had eluded law enforcement for more than two years, becoming something of a folk hero in the process before crashing a plane in the Bahamas...

New York Times.

David Cameron: PS I Am Mad

Not sure anything can top this.
It's got it all; God, Delia, the blessed David Cameron, Strictly, AND a 10-day fucking Christmas TV guide!

PS Fagburn wonders what that screaming old queen, King James, would make of right-wing loons like Melanie Phillips using his bible to defend the meaningless abstraction of "family values"?

Bradley Manning: Happy Birthday


Apparently all he said yesterday was;
"Yes, sir"
"Yes, sir"
"Yes, sir"

God bless America!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christopher Hitchens: 1949-2011

Goodbye, you silly bugger.

Pink News: How Very Interesting

"A study in Malta has said that while 60 per cent of respondents experience discrimination in the workplace, only half are aware this is the only area where they are protected.

"While almost two-thirds knew that the law protected them on matters of employment, as required in the EU, fewer were aware that protection did not extend outside the office, the Times of Malta reports.

"Just over half the respondents were aware of the existence of a National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, but among them there was confusion as to what its function was."

Fuck this is unbelievably fucking interesting!
Mere words can not begin to describe how fucking fascinated I - and indeed THE ENTIRE WORLD - is by workplace surveys conducted in Malta.
There should be an award for writing this beyond fucking fascinating stuff.
At least a fucking Nobel.
Well done Pink News - this really is NEWS that is PINK!
You couldn't make it up.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Magnetic Fields: Meaningless

Noo albumen soon!

If I Was

If I was anyone
I'd be endlessly you.

TE Lawrence
Bobby Fischer
Peter Cook
Some other dudes

all man enough to walk away

I've now turned into you.

Fagburn: Yes. What Now?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Bradley Manning: 3-2-1

After 17 months of pre-trial imprisonment, Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old US army private and accused WikiLeaks source, is finally going to see the inside of a courtroom. This Friday, on an army base in Maryland, the preliminary stage of his military trial will start.

He is accused of leaking to the whistleblowing site hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, war reports, and the now infamous 2007 video showing a US Apache helicopter in Baghdad gunning down civilians and a Reuters journalist. Though it is Manning who is nominally on trial, these proceedings reveal the US government's fixation with extreme secrecy, covering up its own crimes, and intimidating future whistleblowers.

Since his arrest last May in Iraq, Manning has been treated as one of America's most dastardly traitors. He faces more than 30 charges, including one – "aiding the enemy" – that carries the death penalty (prosecutors will recommend life in prison, but military judges retain discretion to sentence him to die).

The sadistic conditions to which he was subjected for 10 months – intense solitary confinement, at one point having his clothing seized and being forced to stand nude for inspection – became an international scandal for a US president who flamboyantly vowed to end detainee abuse. Amnesty International condemned these conditions as "inhumane"; PJ Crowley, a US state department spokesman, was forced to resign after denouncing Manning's treatment. Such conduct has been repeatedly cited by the US as human rights violations when engaged in by other countries.

The UN's special rapporteur on torture has complained that his investigation is being obstructed by the refusal of Obama officials to permit unmonitored visits with Manning. (Even the Bush administration granted access to the International Red Cross at Guantánamo.) Such treatment is all the more remarkable in light of what Manning actually did, and did not do, if the charges are true. For these leaks have achieved enormous good and little harm.

From the start, US claims about the damage done have been wildly exaggerated, even outright false. After the release of the Afghanistan war logs, officials accused WikiLeaks of having "blood on their hands", only to admit weeks later that they were unaware of a single case of anyone being harmed. That remains true today.

Even Robert Gates, the Pentagon chief, mocked alarmism over the diplomatic cables leak as "significantly overwrought", dismissing its impact as "fairly modest". Manning's lawyer is seeking internal government documents that, he insists, concluded there was no meaningful harm to US diplomatic relations from the release of any documents. None of the leaked documents were classified at the highest level of secrecy – top secret – but rather bore only low-level classification.

By contrast, the leaks Manning allegedly engineered have generated enormous benefits: precisely the benefits Manning, if the allegations against him are true, sought to achieve. According to chat logs purportedly between Manning and the informant who turned him in, the private decided to leak these documents after he became disillusioned with the Iraq war. He described how reading classified documents made him, for the first time, aware of the breadth of the corruption and violence committed by his country and allies.

He explained that he wanted the world to know what he had learned: "I want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public." When asked by the informant why he did not sell the documents to a foreign government for profit, Manning replied that he wanted the information to be publicly known in order to trigger "worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms".

There can be no doubt that these vital goals have been achieved. When WikiLeaks was awarded Australia's most prestigious journalism award last month, the awarding foundation described how these disclosures created "more scoops in a year than most journalists could imagine in a lifetime".

By exposing some of the worst atrocities committed by US forces in Iraq, the documents prevented the Iraqi government from agreeing to ongoing legal immunity for US forces, and thus helped bring about the end of the war. Even Bill Keller, the former New York Times executive editor and a harsh WikiLeaks critic, credits the release of the cables with shedding light on the corruption of Tunisia's ruling family and thus helping spark the Arab spring.

In sum, the documentsManning is alleged to have released revealed overwhelming deceit, corruption and illegality by the world's most powerful political actors. And this is why he has been so harshly treated and punished.

Despite pledging to usher in "the most transparent administration in history", President Obama has been obsessed with prosecuting whistleblowers; his justice department has prosecuted more of them for "espionage" than all prior administrations combined.

The oppressive treatment of Manning is designed to create a climate of fear, to send a signal to those who in the future discover serious wrongdoing committed in secret by the US: if you're thinking about exposing what you've learned, look at what we did to Manning and think twice. The real crimes exposed by this episode are those committed by the prosecuting parties, not the accused. For what he is alleged to have given the world, Manning deserves gratitude and a medal, not a life in prison.

Glenn Greenwald.

Mr Gay UK: Exclusive!

This year's Mr Gay UK has been won by an openly-gay man, Pink News Paper can reveal.
The winner is 22 and lives openly in Wales.
He is openly gay.
And a man.
The winner, Samuel Something, 5' 2", who is openly gay, lives in the UK and is openly a hairdresser.
Speaking exclusively to he said: "About half-past ten."

Wittgenstein: Stupid Fucks

Stupid fucking fucks.
I - like Ludo - despair.
There is no fucking point to this programme.
You/We know nothing - so shut the fuck up.

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

Paul Varnell: Was Confused

As we all are.
Interesting libertarian dude/Insansely right-wing loon [Delete as applicable].

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Glee Watch: Flaw Found In "Homosexual Propaganda" Argument

Nice t-shirt.
How thick!!?

• Photograph from Cometstarmoon on Flickr.

Exclusive: World Running Out Of News

Further proof - if proof be need be - that the ladies and gentlemen of the press have given up work for the year and all gone down the metaphorical pub... they've started running stories about those fucking "gay" penguins again!?!!
Apart from fully paid-up members of the simpleton community, does anyone give a flying fuck about any of this crapola?
In other non-news:
Those pandas in Scotland still haven't done anything interesting p 3.
Calls for David Attenborough to be shot in front of his family after polar bear cubs scandal proven to be existential threat to entire world pps 4-12.

The Times: Fag Joke

"All right Cleggers, you've made your pathetic little point... now get down on your knees and light my fire!"

Is it just me, or is there a gay subtext to this cartoon in The Times?

Attitude: Full Story & Nuddy Pix!

It must be great slaving away on the gay press knowing that just about the only time the straight press will acknowledge your existence is when you publish some photos of someone off the telly in their pants.
Or, in the Mirror's baffling phraseology, some "virtually nude shots".
Or, as we say in English, "not nude".