Monday, 30 April 2012

Mail Online: Off Message

Something of a classic of its kind, I think.
The Mail has gone totally batshit because the arch bigot O'Brien said over the weekend; "I am saying to the prime minister, look, don’t just protect your very rich colleagues in the financial industry, consider the moral obligation to help the poor of our country."
Cause that Jesus bloke didn't say anything about helping the poor, did he?
And he never stopped going on about the farking queers.
I'd love to read the Gospel According To The Daily Mail.
Can someone write one, please?

The Daily Mail: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Nipples Tight Pink Bikini

'I wholeheartedly back the Daily Mail’s campaign for a new system requiring internet providers to filter out online porn.
'And I know ‘Block Online Porn’ is aimed at stronger stuff than the glamorous images routinely on display at Mail Online, but I do wonder sometimes how closely Mail editor Paul Dacre looks at his wildly successful online stablemate. Does he know that a good deal of its content consists of copious quantities of raunchy pics showing scantily clad women cavorting on beaches? Examples here and here from today.
'The SEO-friendly url for the latter piece tells us a lot about the news values of Mail Online, it reads: “Maria-Fowler-courts-attention-Marbella-beach-exposes-nipples-tight-pink-bikin”.
Let he is without sin and all that.'

Dominic Ponsford, Press Gazette editor's blog.

George Galloway: The Lodger

'Galloway has an answer for everything, and yet there is something unknowable about him – which is partly why he annoys so many people. He himself was floored by a mystery recently, though, when he came home one day and found all the ties in his bedroom had been moved.
'"I have a sword, given to me in Saudi Arabia or somewhere, so I unsheathed my sword, and went upstairs [to the top floor]. There was no one there, but there was a bottle of gin – which, of course, would never be in my house," Galloway being a life-long teetotaller. "And a gay video, which definitely would never be in my house. So the police came, and they said this person appears to have been living here in your house for some time."

George Galloway interviewed in The Guardian
A statement to which the only legitimate response is; "Eh?"
Interesting use of the word "definitely", too.
A qualification the life-long teetotaller didn't feel the need to use about the bottle of gin.

I should add that I think there is much to be said for this much maligned man - and people should think about why he's become such a vilified figure in the media. Here's an article on the demonisation of George Galloway and the dismissal of Respect's recent victory in the Bradford East by-election from the excellent MediaLens.

David Furnish: He Has A Dream!

At last! David Furnish has spoken out for gay marriage.
To be honest, I was never quite sure which side Mr Furnish was going to be on until now.
Yes, it is a "civil rights battle", and you, David, you are our Martin Luther King.
I can see the entire population of the world literally being swept along by the sheer power of your awesome rhetoric.
We might as well all go home now, boys - this baby's in the bag.

PS 'A gay music festival set to be headlined by SIR ELTON JOHN in London this summer has been called off...' Daily Express. Apart from the fact that Pride House wasn't a music festival and Elton John wasn't going to headline, it's hard to fault this story.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

David Cameron: Buggered?

'Most of the public may not be following every seedy twist and sleazy turn of the Conservatives' relationship with the Murdoch empire with the same fascination as politicians and journalists – the government is rather relying on the hope that they aren't. But if all the public takes away from it is that ministers bent over double to lubricate the commercial ambitions of a hugely rich man – hoping, in the process, to serve their own electoral interests too – that is quite damaging enough.'

Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer.
Have I just got a dirty mind or is this alluding to what I think it does?
If so it's not the first time the "buggered" metaphor has been used against David Cameron recently.
Maybe it's a public school thing?
The mind positively boggles

PS And here's a Steve Bell cartoon from 2010 of Cameron about to do some buggering. The good old days?

Father McVeigh: A Statement

Issued today in the Pomeroy Parish bulletin.
Poor man.
My (non-ironic) defence of Father McVeigh - 'In Defence Of My Fellow Wankers' - is here.

Update: Some rather poignant tweets this evening from Father Ted co-creator, Graham Linehan.
They're in reverse order, rather obviously...

The Observer: Not Totally Straight

'...a much-discussed headline in the Sun last week. "Jessie Gay," it said, "Simon NOT Gay". Please update your sexuality Google doc: Jessie "gay" J is a "secret lesbian" and Simon "not gay, actually, no" Cowell is "totally straight". This month the Sun also ran stories on Prince Harry telling Alan Carr: "I'm not gay!", George Clooney saying he doesn't mind if people think he's gay, Emmerdale's Danny Miller saying: "I'm so glad I won't be kissing any more blokes" now he's leaving the soap, Liam from One Direction denying gay rumours, and an interesting piece on the sexuality of male dolphins (FYI: bi). It must be exhausting, mustn't it, keeping on top of who everyone wants to lie down with? I picture a But Is He Gay editor, sweating on his swivel chair, a well-worn MDF gayometer swinging doomily on his desk, the sweet smell of Lynx hazing above him like steam. Is Cowell "totally straight"?
'Dear the Sun – let me clarify…'

Eva Wiseman writing in The Observer.
So far, so fine.
She then goes on to compile one of those "You know you're not totally straight when" lists;
"If you have ever used disposable facial wipes or dry shampoo; if you have ever carried hand cream. If you have ever tried a speciality coffee. If you have ever cuddled someone platonically..."
It just seemed like a cliched exercise in space filling to me.
If I was forwarded a link to this - and it's just the kind of sickly/jokey drivel that gets passed on like viral pox - I'd be reaching for the Unfollow button.
And many of her markers of being "not totally straight" read more like markers of being middle class;
"If you have ever gone to a Westfield or similar mega-mall, one with a food court, and absolutely utterly hated it. If you have ever said "Hiya!" If you have ever added a garnish to your food..."
Westfield? Yuk!
Is it meant to be funny?
Maybe it's ironic?
Maybe I'm just in a mood?
Who can say?

Marriage Equality: U-turns & Avalanches

"A survey by pollsters ComRes suggested Mr Cameron’s strong support for same-sex marriage could cost his party up to 30 seats in a general election. The UK Independence Party (Ukip) stands to benefit most from the drop in Tory support on this issue, the survey indicates, in what will be seen as further evidence that the Prime Minister is concentrating on policies that fail to appeal in his party’s heartlands."

The Sunday Telegraph.
This factoid was dropped into an interview with Boris Johnson.
Apropos of nothing, as the Telegraph had pointed out earlier in the article; "Mr Johnson, who takes on Labour’s Ken Livingstone in this week’s mayoral election in London, does not mention issues such as gay marriage and the environment – policies that Mr Cameron has promoted recently, earning him criticism from his party."
The uncitated 30-seats claim is presumably extrapolated from a highly dubious ComRes/Catholic Voices poll.
EDIT: Nope, it was taken from this ComRes/Christian Institute poll, which wasn't published til May, so the "exclusive" result was fed to the journalist. 
That put support for gay marriage at half of that of two other recent polls.
ie The claim is highly dubious and I imagine it's just been fed to the journalist by those well-known liars at Coalition 4 Marriage. 
Needless to say the Mail On Sunday is also hammering away today on the now familiar "vote loser" riff - and are also making hysterical claims they don't back up and that don't stand up that I bet they got from you-know-who.
'U-turn Tory MPs tell constituents: 'We were wrong on gay marriage' in bid to win back voters''
"David Cameron is under intense pressure to ditch his gay marriage initiative amid claims that Tory MPs fear they are 'haemorrhaging' votes over the issue...
"The pressure on Mr Cameron has been increased by warnings that a Tory rebellion in the Commons would eclipse last year's EU referendum revolt, when 81 Conservatives defied the Prime Minister. "Backbenchers are reporting an 'avalanche' of protests from Conservative supporters over the gay marriage initiative championed by Mr Cameron...
"MPs have been so stunned by the scale of the protests that a secret group has been set up by Tory MPs at Westminster to force Mr Cameron to back down. Many of the MPs admit that the 'avalanche' of letters from the Tory grass roots was forcing them to change their views."
There may have been an "avalanche" of letters about this - gay marriage must be a green light to the green ink brigade.
MPs of all parties are quite used to receiving these cranks' hatemail and probably ignore them - just as they ignore most e-petitions.
But how many MPs have actually changed their views?
Interestingly the Mail On Sunday could only find one who claimed this, Philip Lee, the newly-elected nobody for Bracknell. 
That number again - one.
The Mail make another assertion; "The Mail on Sunday has been told that Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin has privately assured anxious Tory backbenchers that the Prime Minister's same-sex marriage plan will 'not come to a vote'.
"The MPs say Mr McLoughlin told them the controversial proposal will be 'kicked into the long grass'."
As the crisis for David Cameron continues, both within his own party and amongst an electorate with far more pressing problems, I wouldn't be surprised if the Mail On Sunday have actually got this bit right.

Dominic & Roger Crouch: Connections

How School Bullies Ripped This Happy Family Apart
'Just days after kissing another boy for a dare, 15-year-old Dominic Crouch jumped off a six-storey building. His suicide prompted his devastated parents to campaign against homophobic bullying. But, as Patrick Strudwick reports, there was further tragedy to follow...'

This is in the Mail On Sunday today - I'm really glad they've run it.
It's a powerful piece, and you couldn't think of a more harrowing example of where homophobic bullying can lead.
Dominic's father, Roger Crouch, began campaigning against school bullying, but took his own life at the end of last year.
The Mail has run a lot of sympathetic stories about the suicides of gay teenagers in the last few years - far, far more than any other British newspaper.
It's far from scientific, but typing "gay suicide" into their search engine brings up 459 mentions, there are 46 just for Tyler Clementi, the most notorious case.
Again, good for them. 
I've written about the Mail's strange pro-gay/anti-gay duality a few times on here before, it may surprise many but they often run gay human interest stories such as this, and the showbiz pages are as gay-loving as anyone else's.
But you have to wonder how their editorial staff can square a story like this with their relentless attacks on gay equality elsewhere in their papers.
There are 1815 mentions of "gay marriage" in the Mail, for example, and I bet almost all of them are negative.
Most toxic of all is surely the Mail's homophobic attacks on attempts to tackle homophobia in schools.
Do they ever stop and wonder if there might be a link?

The Holy Bible: NSFW!!!

As it is Sunday, the day of our Lord, may I kindly draw your attention to a delightful piece from The Advocate online, The Golden Age of Denial: Gay Bible Porn by Christopher Harrity, which looks at over twenty images of teh male hotness in Renaissance and Baroque religious paintings.
It is, one has to say, a somewhat limited palette, with just four recurring tropes; Saint Sebastian, David, the flagellation of Christ, and the resurrection of the flesh. 
Above you can see The Flagellation of Christ by Bacchiacca which, notes Harrity, "seems to want us to focus elsewhere than on the son of God. And then there is the awkward issue of the hats."
Younger readers may be surprised to learn there was a time long ago when the internet did not exist, and this was how chaps could get away with watching some dude-on-dude action; "Naked muscle men and milky-skinned youths as subjects of art were fine as long as they were in support of religious, mythological, or allegorical works. There had to be a moral message, however flimsy, attached to the work. Honor, strength in battle, and sacrifice were all noble subjects that were used to justify presenting some pretty hot stuff...
"If the master of the household or the local priest had a breathtaking moment of rapture in front of a particularly vivid depiction of the flagellation of Christ, for example, that trembling feeling in the pit of the stomach, or maybe a bit lower, could be safely interpreted as religious fervor and passion."
Perhaps it was a selection of images such as these that were on the USB stick of poor Father McVeigh and which led to that terrible misunderstanding last month?

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Tom Waits: The Heart Of Saturday Night

This is a song about going out.
I like playing it when I'm staying in...

The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning: About Last Night

Tonight is the last performance of National Theatre Wales' play, The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning.
You may watch it live online after registering here.
Curtain up - as us showbiz types say - is at 7.30pm.
It's had some very good reviews, you know.
Naomi Colvin of UK Friends Of Bradley Manning has written an interesting piece discussing the play as political theatre for the New Statesman
That is all.

Update: Overview of the late April pre-trial hearings by Bradley Manning Support Network. The trial is now expected late September, but is at the military's discretion and could be put back even further.

David Starkey: Carry On Digging!

'The television historian has used the first anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding to question whether a member of the Royal family would ever marry someone who is black or Asian.
'Asked whether a prince who was homosexual would be morally obliged to “come out”, he says: “No, unless you’re going to argue this notion of a representative Royal Family; therefore, we have a survey which says that X per cent of population is gay. Right, you’re the gay one. X per cent of the population is Indian. Right, you go off and get the girl in the sari. Do they have to send out an order? Harry, find a black!”

David Starkey quoted in the Telegraph
Oh do fuck off, deary, you silly old Tory.
Will no one rid us of this tiresome gay prick?
And that's one of your actual historical royal quotes.

Image, 'The David Starkey Story: When Flounce and Crazy Right Wing Opinions Collide', from the blog Questionable Time

Short Letter Of The Week: The Guardian

In your gay issue were seven adverts that between them showed 10 couples. Not one was same-sex.

Barrie Wyse
Beverley, East Yorkshire

Letter to The Guardian Weekend magazine.
More comments on the issue here.

A good point well made.
But the flipside to this is how the more moronic sections of the gay media explode with excitement and wet their branded knickers just because a mainstream company has made a gay-themed ad.
Well, whoop-dee-fucking-doo - hold the virtual front page!!!
This week it was the turn of Ray-Ban.
Though maybe these manufacturers of ridiculously over-priced sunglasses just put out a press release saying they were running it as a campaign and milked the free publicity - it's hard to tell.
Here's a gay moron from Gay Star News writing about it - or maybe he's just obediently regurgitated the press release as per?
It's hard to sell tell.

Friday, 27 April 2012

James Dawson: Queen Of Teen

The Telegraph allowed itself a manly giggle over the news that James Dawson has been shortlisted for the Queen of Teen Award for his debut novel, Hollow Pike.
'Queen Of Teen... Could Be A Man'
"The next Queen of Teen could be a King. James Dawson, a former journalist turned author, has become the first man to be shortlisted for the fiction prize voted for by teenagers...
"If Dawson wins he will, of course, have to wear the victor's 'Queen of Teen tiara'. Well, it is an age of equality".
Tee hee-hee.
Telegraph readers will doubtless love to hear that the lovely Mr Dawson says he'd love nothing more than this. 
"Let me explain why I’m so keen to be the queen," James writes on his website. "Number one, there is a crown involved. AN ACTUAL CROWN.
"More importantly though, when I was a little boy, I used to love wrapping myself up in my mum’s gold duvet and pretending to be a character called ‘Princess Susan’ (what? I was like five!). I made my sister be my servant, Sally (sorry, Joanne). However, I was always getting told off for this because ‘it’s not what little boys do’. This sense of ‘doing things wrong’ continued well into my twenties. I thought there were certain things boys shouldn’t do or say just because they are boys.
"This is obviously HORSESHIT. No-one, male or female, should ever feel limited on the basis of gender. I like to think, that if I could get anywhere near that crown it’d send out a beacon-like message to all the teenage readers that GENDER MEANS NOTHING. Everyone needs to feel like a queen now and then."
Yes, young Mr Dawson is a big old queen - for more see his website again.
It's something that's clearly informed Hollow Pike; a book about high school and witchcraft and witch-hunts, both old and new - where Heathers meets The Crucible in the Yorkshire Dales.
Heck, he even hangs a whole chapter around Lady Gaga.
Obviously, I'm a gay journalist so I'm saying all this without actually having read the book (yet), but it does sound ever so good. 
The Queen of Teen Award is voted for by, you, the public.
So vote James - a queen for Queen.

PS Obviously it would be daft to vote for him just because he's gay - it's more that I see him as future boyfriend material and am trying to get in his good books.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Batman: Very, Very Gay - Official

"He’s very plutonian in the sense that he’s wealthy and also in the sense that he’s sexually deviant. Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay.
"I think that’s why people like it. All these women fancy him and they all wear fetish clothes and jump around rooftops to get to him. He doesn’t care - he’s more interested in hanging out with the old guy and the kid."

Grant Morrison, who "rebooted" Batman in 2006 (apparently, I'm reading this), in a Playboy interview
According to Playboy, he's "the most important comic book writer working today".
According to Morrison; “The creators of superheroes were all freaks. People forget that—they were all outcasts, on the margins of society... We’re people who don’t fit into normal society.”
Fagburn has absolutely no idea if Mr Morrison is also very, very gay. 
Mainly cause I've only just heard of him, and I'm very, very tired. 

Internships: Praise Be!

'A lot is made about the use of unpaid interns in the media. Then there is the whole 'Huffington Post' model of expecting people to want to write for free, but there are few unpaid jobs in the media world whose non-cash rewards are justified quite like these editorial posts from Christian organisation WEC [Worldwide Evangelisation For Christ].
Each ad includes the line:

"This position is non-salaried as all WEC personnel look to God to provide their personal needs."

Via The Media Blog.

Fagburn hears a well-known British gay title is rumoured to be switching to this "Written entirely by unpaid interns" model very soon.
That's if cut-and-pasting press releases and random rubbbish from Google News counts as "writing".

Fagburn: A Little Behind

Sorry, I've been "doing things" this week.
I'll now try and catch up with "stuff that's happened".
Thank you.

  Image shows Tom Daley having a costume malfunction - you may have (or want) to squint...

Gareth Williams Inquest: Titter Ye Not!

'The MI6 spy whose body was found in a padlocked holdall in his bath was once discovered tied to his bed in just his boxer shorts by his former landlady, the inquest into his death heard today.
'Describing Gareth Williams as “embarrassed, panicky, and apologetic” when found, Jennifer Elliot’s statement to the inquest detailed how she and her husband heard cries for help from their lodger in the early hours of the morning.
“Approximately three years ago, in bed, we heard Gareth shouting for help,” she said.
“It was about 1.30am, in the winter. We both got up and got the spare key. I called up, ‘are you ok?’, and we went up to find him lying on his bed with both arms and hands tied with a material that was attached to each bobble at the end of the headboard.
“We were both in shock. He was very embarrassed, panicky, and apologetic. He said, ‘I just wanted to see if I could get myself free’.”
'The spy was dressed in boxer shorts, with the bedclothes pulled over his legs, she said.
"He was not aroused and I could not see any sperm near him," Ms Elliot continued.
'She added that the unknown material had cut into Williams’ wrists.
Ms Elliott went on to explain that they believed that the event was probably of a sexual nature rather “than escapology”...
“He apologised and said it would not happen again, and Gareth never caused any situation like it again..."

The Daily Mirror goes into the most detail about what was heard at the Gareth Williams inquest yesterday.
The Sun were kind enough to publish a photo of the actual bed.
I do feel guilty, but it's hard to not find something cruelly amusing in this scenario. 
It appeals to a very English sense of humour - most papers seemed to be sniggering about it today - it sounds like a scene from a Whitehall farce.
It's even funnier if you read out Mrs Elliot's words in the voice of the landlady from Monty Python, I find.
Sorry Gareth.

Update: BBC TV News item Friday 27th, includes man demonstrating getting into a sports holdall. 

Ken Livingstone: Dogs Bite Man

"If I was courting the Muslim vote," Livingstone reasons patiently, "I wouldn't have put establishing the partnership ceremony at the forefront of my first term, would I? I go all around London advocating lesbian and gay rights."That's true, but only makes his infamous remark that the Tory party is now "riddled" with gay people all the more maddening. It's obvious he used the term ironically, mocking the party's traditional homophobes who would use the word to denote disgust. "I was making the point that not a single Tory MP spoke out in support when I introduced partnership ceremonies. But they only quoted half the sentence. Where's the bit that says: 'Isn't it wonderful?' I mean, it does actually change the context slightly."

Ken Livingstone interviewed by Decca Aitkenhead in The Guardian.  
This has to be one of the silliest episodes in British politics in recent times.
I'm surprised The Guardian still thinks it even worth mentioning.
Can one word taken completely out of context wipe out over forty years of gay campaigning? 
Just goes to show the Tory Party and much of our press is riddled with hypocrites and idiots.
Anyone who who says this was dog whistle politics deserves to be bitten by Coco (pictured above, recently).

• Read Ken Livingstone's LGBT Manifesto For London on his mayoral website here.

Daily Mail Privacy Trial: Homophobic, Moi?

'Daily Mail columnist Amanda Platell yesterday dismissed claims that the newspaper had been homophobic in its coverage of former Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne’s lover.
'She told the High Court that she found it ‘hard to believe’ that Carina Trimingham had been distressed by descriptions of her as being a bisexual and ‘jokey references’ to her appearance.'
Miss Trimingham, 44, who was in a civil partnership when she started her affair with Mr Huhne, is suing over what she describes as ‘crude and demeaning stereotypes’ in newspaper stories about her sexuality.
'She accuses Associated Newspapers, parent company of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, of misuse of private information and harassment in 65 articles, including references to her size, having spiky hair and supposedly wearing Doc Marten shoes.
'But Miss Platell said: ‘To be accused of being homophobic or having written things that are homophobic is one of the most offensive things you could say to me.'

The Daily Mail

Get ready for the punchline - it's a cracker.

'She said one of her closest friends is fellow Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce, who is gay.'

Richard Littlejohn wrote a piece his Mail column at the same time that was strikingly similar in tone, language, smears and bile - the Mail ran eight about Trimingham in eleven days.
Here's a little background to the case.

PS Also loving the Compare & Contrast photos the Mail used - above - of the gorgeous, pouting Miss Platell and Carina Trimingham.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Homecoming: Like Soldiers Do

Coalition For Equal Marriage have released their homo promo video, Homecoming.
It would be silly to criticise it for being "sentimental" - I presume much of the point was that they wanted to tug at a broad range of heart-strings.
Just like it's meant to be "sweet" and "nice" and "inoffensive".
"No horses were frightened during the making of this picture" etc.
And the chaps seem a bit Merchant-Ivory, if you know worra I mean...
But I wonder why the case for gay marriage so often seems to be conflated with military service - there's a (real-life) soldier and his boyfriend on the recent cover of Attitude magazine.
"Have you heard the one about the Iraq veteran who can fight for his country but can't get married?"
They seem a lovely couple, but I wonder why such imagery has been given such prominence in this debate.
Why are soldier boys the poster boys for UK marriage equality?
Is a gay soldier the ultimate image of a "good gay"?
Do they show that gay men can be "real men"?
A certain kind of gay man loves this idea - witness the paroxysms of excitement over that photo of the real-life US marine kissing his boyfriend that went viral earlier this year.
Homecoming: Not Queens. 
Is the argument that we should be allowed to gay-marriaged as a thank you for helping out in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Is this like the less radical suffragettes who threw himself into the Great War effort to show their loyalty to king and country?
Is this emotional war porn?
Support our gay boys!
Just askin'.

Thought For The Day: Adam Lambert

"As a community, we’re a little bit resistant to a gay male pop star ourselves. It’s very easy for people to look at my origin, which is American Idol, and automatically assume that I’m a commercial sellout or a puppet or a flash in the pan. I don’t think I’m any of those things.”
“There’s something weird there. We’re very eager to celebrate a strong female.
"But to celebrate a fellow gay man—it gets catty sometimes.”

Adam Lambert talks to America's Instinct magazine.
Yeah, whatever.
I still think your music stinks, though.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Nadine Dorries MP: Behind The Price Of Milk

"Unfortunately, I think that not only are Cameron and Osborne two posh boys who don't know the price of milk, but they are two arrogant posh boys who show no remorse, no contrition, and no passion to want to understand the lives of others - and that is their real crime."

Tory MP Nadine Dorries talking to the BBC's Daily Politics Show.
In fine she is correct - this is a government led by a cabal of ex-public school boy millionaires who have no idea how the other 99% live.
If only we could leave it there. 
The quote has been blown up by the media as a killer punch to David Cameron and George Osborne.
It sums up a regular recent Blimpish bleat from the Tory right that argues issues like gay marriage are only of interest to some metropolitan liberal elite, and are alienating the party from many ordinary voters.
Naturally the Telegraph loves Dorries's latest outburst.
But what does Nadine Dorries really mean?
Is it really a concern about the price of petrol and pasties and milk?
She's made her media name in the last two years mainly by mouthing off against social, specifically sexual, liberalism, and pushing pointless Private Members' bills about abortion and teaching sexual abstinence to schoolgirls.
Chris Bryant called the last one "the daftest piece of legislation I have seen".
I think she's a complete mentalist, but then even her colleagues call her "Mad Nad".
But it is exactly "this sort of thing" that vexes her far more than the cost of living.
Here she is ten days ago expanding on her theme for her blog for ConservativeHome;

'Social liberalism has always been an indulgence of the wealthy. The people who can afford to enjoy liberalism whilst protecting their own children from the societal influences of such by sending them to the most expensive schools. In addition to the majority of the British public being far from social liberals, they also aren’t stupid. They know that each family struggles financially whilst we send a 'billion of our hard earned cash to Europe each year.
'They know that gay marriage is a side issue which many gay couples living outside of London or bohemian Brighton (sorry Graeme) have no interest in and as one gay couple articulated to me in my constituency, “we wish Cameron and others would just shut the **** up and leave us alone in our civil partnership”. This from a couple who happily contribute to their local community and resent their relationship becoming a focus point for discussion as they queue for fish and chips and get on with their lives. Not all gay couples live in the south of England.
'And that is just about what everyone is doing, getting on with their busy lives and surviving to do too much about any of the disconnect they feel, however, suddenly a new dynamic has entered the political arena and penetrated the chatter bubble of everyone’s daily lives.'

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Gareth Williams: Still No News

MI6 Spy Gareth Williams Complained Of Friction At Work, Inquest Told

Sister says Williams disliked office culture and had been due to return to GCHQ one week after his body was found in holdall
'Gareth Williams, the intelligence worker found dead in a padlocked holdall at his London flat, had requested a transfer from MI6 and had been due to move one week after his body was found, an inquest heard...
'Describing her brother as someone who was happiest "in the mountains" and engaged in outdoor pursuits, Subbe said: "He disliked office culture, post-work drinks, flash car competitions and the rat race. He even spoke of friction in the office."'
The Guardian.
Well you don't often hear of people who work in offices complaining about their job, do you?
In fact, I think this may be a first.
I imagine, like so many of us members of the disgruntled community, he thought; "Well, I'll zip myself up in a sports bag and have a stranglewank, that'll learn them."

As before Fagburn has two words to say on this... Occam's Razor.

Mark Frankland: 1934-2012

Mark Frankland, distinguished Observer foreign correspondent, author and former MI6 agent.
Sad his own paper used the dread phrase "who never married".
The obituary in its sister paper The Guardian shows he was out, and had a civil partner, Thuong Nguyen.
They quote Roz Kaveney on his writing; "Frankland has a particular sympathy with outsiders and the betrayed. As a gay man in intolerant times and places, he knew he would never be on the side of the powerful, would always feel for underdogs."
The Guardian also publishes a tribute from his friend and colleague, Jonathan Fryer, who was a witness at their partnership ceremony.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

David Cameron: Limp-wristed

"Let’s take a leaf out of France’s book. When it suits them they ignore Strasbourg and put terror suspects on the next flight out. David Cameron, limp-wristed as ever when it comes to Europe, bleats: “I sometimes wish I could put Qatada on a plane and take him to Jordan myself.”

Leader in The Sun.
After The Mail another homophobic link which has strangely disappeared...
Hi, sorry I haven't really done today's papers, but I needed some time off.
And sometimes trawling through a world of stupidity, lies, hatred and hypocrisy just drives me mad (der).
It's like my last boyfriend used to say; "No wonder you're so depressed if you keep reading all this."
Or maybe it's just cause my wrists are too limp?

The Vinyl Closet: You Spin Me Round

"So let's get this straight (forgive me): even in the world of entertainment – a traditional haven for outsiders searching for acceptance and self expression – the lesbian is shunned? Even in the kingdom of Elton and Rufus and George, the lesbian is pressured to don the mask of bisexuality, so as not to exclude men totally or appear alienating?"

Barbara Ellen in The Observer on claims Jessie J is a lesbian but was told to say she was bisexual by her record company.
I love Miss Babs but this is an odd argument.
Elton John "came out" as bisexual - which he wasn't - in 1976, and got married in 1984.
George Michael was in the closet til he was caught in a cottage.
This is hardly ancient history.
Does anyone really believe there are no male music stars still trapped in the Vinyl Closet, never mind "entertainers"?
I'm happy to secretly give you a list, but it's pretty long...
And who says Jessie J is lying when she says she's bisexual?

Father McVeigh: In Defence Of My Fellow Wankers

"An investigation into how a Catholic priest accidentally showed gay porn images to primary school children [It was a parent's meeting, as they say below. Bizzare - FB] has proved “inconclusive”.
"The probe was launched last month after Fr Martin McVeigh projected the images on to a screen during a meeting for parents in Pomeroy during a presentation at a school in Co Tyrone.
"Parents said 16 indecent images of men were displayed during a Powerpoint presentation.
"The priest said he had no knowledge of the offending imagery and did not know how the material came to be on a memory stick plugged in to his laptop computer..."

Belfast Telegraph.
Everyone's had a good laugh about this episode - now descending into farce - as indeed I did.
Tis funny admittedly; "I have no idea how they got there... oops, I've had the laptop stolen!" etc.
I know nothing about Father McVeigh beyond this story.
I've tried to find if he's said anything about The Gays, but have found nothing - I don't think it matters.
Nor do I really know exactly what happened and why.
But whatever, I think all our lives are punctuated by massive fuck-ups and I'd hope people can find the generosity to forgive other peoples'.
It's now becoming ever more ridiculous - looking like the Catholic Church is covering up sexual shenanigans it professes to condemn... yet again.
But a man watching porn - as almost all most men do - should not be a source of guilt or shame.
Though his Catholic Church is quite big on guilt and shame.
Forgive him his sins - cause they're not sins.
If he liked watching pictures of hot dudes' with big cocks doing it, so what, that is surely no reason to put him on suicide watch. 
Since when did wanking become a crime?
Happy Sunday.

PS Fagburn was, I'm pretty sure, the first to write about this, outside of the Northern Ireland press - a story that then went global. I'm not a news site, but it's a bit embarrassing if I'm covering stories like this first when I do it as a hobby, not a job.
Me! Me! Me! ME!!!! etc

Wittgenstein: Philosophy

Tonight I found a pubic hair in a copy of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
I have two - not pubes, copies of Tractatus.
So I guess that goes to show the world must be independent of my will.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Guardian Weekend: The Gay Issue

The Guardian Weekend has a special "Gay Issue" today.
Well, it's nice to get it all out the way, isn't it?
I gave up after the Evan Davis thing - the straight press's ideas about what's interesting about The Gays is so odd/boring/random/patronising - gay "cures", gay Tories, gay dads, gay fashion, hot lez swingers, a selection of the first photos that came up on Google Images, isn't Alan Carr camp? ("Oh look, he's dressed as the Queen! Ha ha ha! And they've put a rainbow flag on the cover - cause that means so much to The Gays, doesn't it?") - but good luck to you if you can persevere.

Soho: Starbucked

"Soho is London's bohemian heart. Britain's pop industry was born there, the film industry was run from it, and Foyles led the bookshops filling Charing Cross Road. Prostitutes lined the streets until the 1990s, when it became London's gay thoroughfare. Late-night drinking dens and cafés served them all in a sometimes sleazy but potent atmosphere. But now, in a pattern repeated in similarly cherished neighbourhoods across Britain, the independent businesses which dominate its warren of streets are suffering. Blander public taste, corporate encroachment and pre-Olympics paranoia have put Soho under siege..."

A great, scary, depressing piece by Nick Hasted in The Independent on the corporate take-over and blandification of Soho. 

Get rid of the junkies, 
get rid of the whores, 
get rid of all your silly second-hand bookstores, 
we've had enough of your knowledge round here,
get rid of that caff where Quentin Crisp drank, 
give us boredom and some more of the same, 
it's all going to be Starbucks now.

Ivan Massow: At Home

You sensing a theme here?
Some of "close to 30" portraits of Ivan Massow at his London home.
FT Weekend.

Gay Tories: They Exist!

"When Ken Livingstone made his infamous comment about the Tory party being "riddled" with gay men back in February, he ignited a row over his choice of words. But funnily enough, I don't remember anyone taking him to task on the basic fact. They couldn't really, as it is a fact: the Conservative party does have a large number of gay members and supporters...."

Evan Davis rambling away in The Guardian
An embarrassing piece that reads like it was written when he was stoned, quoting a bogus survey about gay men earning more (surveys about marketing to gay men always show this - cause they lie).
Evan, as an economist. you should know better.
Still, silly fantasies about a minority group as a moneyed elite worked so well in Germany in the Thirties, didn't it?
Surveys have said gay men tend to be more to the left than the general population, but posh cunts are posh cunts and class will out. 
Is this really news?

Matthew Parris: God Help Us

"On the margins of bigger news in recent days have been three little stories that caught my attention. The Mayor of London has reportedly stepped in to stop a Christian evangelical group advertising on London buses their claim that people can be “cured” of being homosexual."And Chris Birch, from Wales, has testified to turning from being heterosexual to being gay, after suffering a stroke when he broke his neck at the age of 26. Meanwhile, in a letter to The Times this morning, 15 senior figures in the Church of England — bishops and others — support gay marriage and see “God’s grace at work in same-sex relationships”.
"It seems that, depending on your point of view, God, a stroke or a broken neck can turn you gay, help you to be gay or make you straight. On one thing, though, these opinions all agree — people can change.
"And (gulp) I think that’s true. I will be misinterpreted; I may give comfort to wrongheaded evangelicals; gay friends may think I’m letting the side down ... but I do believe that male sexual orientation is less fixed than we suppose. It may alter. We gays fought that idiotic “section 28” on dishonest grounds. Homosexuality can, as the statute implied, be “promoted”. So can heterosexuality. It always has been, with much success..."

Matthew Parris in The Times.
Yes, people change, most of my ex-boyfriends are straight.
So what?
Miss Parris goes on to jizz out ever more cliches - and shows that the idea of homosexuality as a social construct and a modern "invention" is now the preserve of the right.
I'm so bored with people writing the most stupid and banal things and saying they're being controversial.
You're not - you're just being stupid and banal.

Hoodoo Gurus: What's My Scene?

Australia's (maybe third, after The Go-Betweens and ACFUCKINGDC) finest (and campest).

"And another thing I've been wondering lately, am I crazy to believe in ideals?"

Friday, 20 April 2012

Jean Cocteau: Instinct

"The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, they finish by loading honours on your head."

Jean Cocteau.
And then they make you mad.

The Daily Mail: Homosexuality IS A Departure From The Norm

Finally managed to find a copy of this crap which was so offensive even The Daily Mail deleted it from their website.
I present it here in its full glory.

Homosexuality IS A Departure From The Norm - We must beware of our civilisation being battered by the PC brigade
By Alexander Boot.

Boris Johnson is a long-standing champion of sexual tolerance – at least that’s what he seems to expect from his poor wife.
This time he has shifted his innermost convictions into the public arena by banning from London buses a Christian campaign aimed at reforming homosexuals.
‘London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance,’ he said. I agree.
London is so tolerant it could be twinned with Sodom – or alternatively with our neighbourhood French villages called Orgy and Anus (I’m not joking, they are both next door to us).
True to his word, the good mayor found nothing wrong with the blatant propaganda of homosexuality launched earlier by Stonewall, the charity devoted to promoting homosexual agendas, such as same-sex marriage.
The thrust of their campaign was the probably correct message that homosexuality is innate and therefore irreversible.
In response, Christian groups created a campaign typified by the ad saying ‘Some people are gay. Get over it.’ That’s where Mr Johnson drew the line on his tolerance.
‘It is clearly offensive,’ he thundered, ‘to suggest that being gay is an illness that someone recovers from and I am not prepared to have that suggestion driven around London on our buses.'
Since only about one percent of us are that way inclined, homosexuality is obviously a departure from the norm. Surely, 99 percent are in a better position than one percent to judge what is normal?
The constructive campaign from Christian groups telling gays that they have the choice to 'get over' their homosexuality.
And, indulging in a bit of reductio ad absurdum, reversing that proportion would spell the end of the human race, which is clearly undesirable. So the dictionary definition applies in its entirety.
It may well be true that a propensity for homosexual, which is to say aberrant, behaviour is innate.
And it’s indisputable that people ought not to be reproached, much less punished, for the way they are born. They can, however, be legitimately asked not to act on their aberrant tendencies.
And it’s indisputable that people ought not to be reproached, much less punished, for the way they are born. They can, however, be legitimately asked not to act on their aberrant tendencies.
A kleptomaniac only becomes reproachable when he actually steals. A man who’s violent by nature is on safe grounds until he commits a violent act. We aren’t responsible for where we begin in life. But we are responsible for where we finish.
Boris Johnson was said to have intervened himself as chair of TfL when he became aware of the controversial campaign, which mimicked a previous Stonewall initiative.
The campaign that offended the Mayor enunciates the traditional Christian attitude to homosexuality. Rather than regarding homosexuality as a disease from which one could be cured, Christianity regards it as a sin from which one should abstain. It’s only in this sense that a homosexual can ‘get over it’.
Abstaing from sex for moral reasons is tantamount to heroism, and most people can’t be expected to be heroes. That’s why I don’t think homosexuality should be banned, or homosexuals in any way abused.
The campaign that offended the Mayor enunciates the traditional Christian attitude to homosexuality. Rather than regarding homosexuality as a disease from which one could be cured, Christianity regards it as a sin from which one should abstain. It’s only in this sense that a homosexual can ‘get over it’.
Abstaining from sex for moral reasons is tantamount to heroism, and most people can’t be expected to be heroes. That’s why I don’t think homosexuality should be banned, or homosexuals in any way abused,
But Christianity would be remiss in its mission if it didn’t call on them to adhere to the absolute moral standards stipulated by the founding religion of our civilisation.
And all of us, Christians or otherwise, ought to be wary of the systematic campaign to destroy everything our civilisation stands for.
It’s not only our religion but also our constitution, our aesthetic sense, our education and our general morality that are being smashed by the battering ram of PC modernity.
That propaganda of homosexuality can be used in this capacity is beyond question. Witness the fact that the first European country that liberalised homosexuality was Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1934 – neither the time nor the place known for an all-consuming love of Western civilisation
In parallel, the Bolsheviks, who were almost as tolerant as Mayor Johnson, abolished marriage, and Lenin’s mistress Inessa Armand likened sex to drinking a glass of water.
The Bolsheviks were aware of the destructive potential of sexual licentiousness in all its forms, and they were out to destroy.
Boris Johnson doesn’t want to destroy. He just wants to be re-elected – as a Conservative (!) candidate.
To establish his conservative credentials, he is flaunting his moral relativism, what he calls intolerance of intolerance.
In doing so he denies the right of free speech to a constructive campaign asking homosexuals to reform and suggesting it’s possible – while affording this freedom to a campaign that’s utterly deterministic and destructive, in effect if not in intent.
I’m willing to accept for the sake of argument (and only for its sake) that, rather than simply indulging in full-time electioneering, Mr Johnson really does disagree with the sentiment expressed in the ‘Get over it’ campaign.
But that’s no reason to ban it. For freedom of speech to mean anything at all, it ought to cover the freedom to say things we don’t like. After all, allowing only those statements that please us involves no hardship at all.
Judging by his action, Boris Johnson is rather vague on our constitutional liberties, Western moral and intellectual tradition, and the boundaries of his remit as a politician.
His response to what the ads actually say also betokens a need for a remedial reading class. An ideal future candidate for Prime Minister, I dare say.

What a cunt.
I don't approve of banning things, but hijacking a public space for money just to say you hate people is not "free speech".
Not sure what to do about this, some people are saying go to the Press Complaints Commission, but they only takes complaints from people who have been personally abused in a story.
Still, worth kicking up a fuss.
I've been writing Fagburn for two years now and I can't think of a worse piece.
You think the Mail would have learnt their lesson after the Stephen Gately/Jan Moir episode and that you can't get away with hateful homophobic crap like this in the 21st Century, but sadly no.

March For England: Not Wanted In Brighton

Bradley Manning: Please Give Generously

Over $11,100 of the needed $14,800 has already been pledged!
We have until 4pm Pacific / 7pm Eastern today (Saturday, April 21) to raise the last $4,000 needed to place twenty-one “Bradley Manning: Whistle-blower” ads in the DC Metro subway system, that will coincide with Bradley’s next hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, which begins April 24. Donations can be made via the EpicStep campaign site, or directly through the Bradley Manning Support Network.
There are two ways to support the campaign, either by making a donation on the EpicStep Ad Campaign website, or by donating directly to the Bradley Manning Defense Fund. 
Last day to raise $4000 to place 21 ads on the DC metro coinciding with Bradley’s next April 24th court appearance. Help bring Bradley's case to Washington.

PS You can watch the National Theatre of Wales play The Radicalisition Of Bradley Manning live onstream tomorrow here.

 Dunno why but this has made me quite tearful today.
If the US wasn't mad they'd've given Bradley a medal.
But if the US wasn't mad they wouldn't start so many stupid fucking wars.
What a world! What a world! 

Theresa May: Oh, Give Us Money

'Speaking at the Stonewall Workplace Conference in London today, the Home Secretray Theresa May said businesses could not afford to ignore the £70 billion-strong lesbian, gay and bisexual market, as she set out the 'business case for equality'. Ms May said the government would continue to strive for equality, saying top employers 'know that a company whose workforce better reflects their customers is better able to understand what their customers want and need - and that means greater sales and profits'.

Christ, is anyone dumb enough to believe this £70 billion claim?
This comes from what?
Saying 10% of people are gay - basically you could halve this, at least - and it's nonsensical to say that all their income is disposable.
And what kind of an immoral agent does something, not because they think it's right, but because they think they can make a profit?
"We still don't like you, but give us your money, gayboy."
Tory thinking in a nutbag.

News Of The World: Keep On Digging

"Unbeknown to members of the Culture Committee, the NOTW established a team to investigate their private lives. For several days, as chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck would later tell Tom Watson, reporters searched for any secret lovers or extra-marital affairs that could be used as leverage against the MPs.
"Thurlbeck said: "All I know is that, when the DCMS [Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee] was formed or rather when it got onto all the hacking stuff, there was an edict came down from the editor and it was find out every single thing you can about every single member: who was gay, who had affairs, anything we can use.
"Each reporter was given two members and there were six reporters that went on for around 10 days. I don't know who looked at you. It fell by the wayside; I think even Ian Edmondson [the news editor] realised there was something quite horrible about doing this..."

"Although the committee wanted Brooks to give evidence, its members, whose private lives News International had pored over, capitulated and decided not to summon her. On the day the committee met to discuss the issue, two Labour MPs close to Tony Blair, Janet Anderson and Rosemary McKenna, were absent. The gay Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price – who in September unexpectedly announced that he would leave Parliament at the next general election to take up a Fulbright scholarship in the US – claimed that the committee's members had been warned that if they had called Brooks, their private lives would be raked over.
"Mr Price said later: "I was told by a senior Conservative member of the committee, who I knew was in direct contact with executives at News International, that if we went for her, they would go for us – effectively they would delve into our personal lives in order to punish [us]."
From The Independent who are serialising Tom Watson's book Dial M For Murder.
Nice work lads.

Was Jesus Gay?: Dunno Really

"Those last words of Jesus would not let me escape. "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman behold your son!' Then he said to the disciple. 'Behold your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.""That disciple was John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way. All the other disciples had fled in fear. Three women but only one man had the courage to go with Jesus to his execution. That man clearly had a unique place in the affection of Jesus. In all classic depictions of the Last Supper, a favourite subject of Christian art, John is next to Jesus, very often his head resting on Jesus's breast. Dying, Jesus asks John to look after his mother and asks his mother to accept John as her son. John takes Mary home. John becomes unmistakably part of Jesus's family.
"Jesus was a Hebrew rabbi. Unusually, he was unmarried. The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence. The evidence, on the other hand, that he may have been what we today call gay is very strong. But even gay rights campaigners in the church have been reluctant to suggest it..."

Paul Oestreicher, a chaplain at the University Of Sussex, writing in The Guardian.
Not sure we should take anything in The Bible as gospel (fangyewverymuch I'm here all week) seeing as it says Mr Christ was born to a virgin, could walk on water, turn water into wine, talked to bushes, and bring back the dead - including himself - but anyway...
I've lost count of the number of things I've read saying Our Lord was a total gaylord.
May I suggest Paul visits a library or Googles "Was Jesus gay?" and reads one of the paltry 22,700 articles that brings up.
Still I like the idea of Fred and Shirley Phelps and Stephen Green choking on their spaghetti hoops on reading this.
Why not send them this article?
The Westboro Baptist Church website is still down after being hacked by those naughty anarchists at Anonymous but you can reach Shirley Phelps at
Feel free to send them some really filthy hardcore gay porn, too.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Levon Helm: 1940-2012

The Band were such a great band...

Matthew Mitcham: The Colour Of His Hair

"I certainly don't see [being gay] as a burden, I never did, especially with how much attention the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered] cause has been getting lately with marriage equality … and with how few openly gay sports stars there are around at the moment. ''I don't mind attention being put on it.
''Ideally I would like one day for sexuality to be as unimportant and uninteresting as hair colour, or eye colour or even just gender in general. One day it will get to that.
''But until it is easy for sports people to come out without fear of persecution or fear of lost sponsorship income and stuff like that, or fear of being comfortable in the team environment, I don't mind attention being brought to my sexuality in the hope that it might make other people feel more comfortable … in being comfortable enough about who they are in their sporting environment.''

Matthew Mitcham interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald
I wonder if any other divers in this year's Olympics is gay?
Can't think of one.

FCKH8: It Doesn't Get Better...

For homophobes.

Private Eye: Get Over It!

From Private Eye.

Out: Oops!

The editorial staff of the influential gay lifestyle magazine Out is being laid off with one month's severance as of Friday, Capital has learned.But according to Out editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin, it's more complicated than that.
Hicklin said he will hire back an unspecified number of editors on a contract basis into a new company he is founding called Grand Editorial. It will operate the magazine as a contractor for Here Media, sister company of Regent Entertainment Inc., which acquired Out in 2008.

Hi, you're fired.
That's how the gay press works...

The Daily Telegraph: Come Again?

Boris Johnson: Still Bonkers

'Boris Johnson has said that he feared that there would have been an "intense backlash" if he had allowed a Christian advertising campaign promoting the idea that gay people can be converted to heterosexuality to be plastered on London's buses.
'The Conservative mayor, who is standing for re-election in May, talked about his decision to block the posters days before they were due to appear on buses in the capital as he took part in a mayoral debate jointly organised by London Church Leaders, Faith to Engage, and the Evangelical Alliance.
'He said that he made his decision not only because he thought an advert which suggested that gay people could be cured was likely to cause "great offence", but also because of the possible reverberations for London's Christian community.
"The job of mayor is to unite, the job is to stop prejudice, and actually the backlash would be so intense it would not have been in the interest of Christian people in this city," he said.'

The Guardian.
Well, heaven forfend the Christian community would be getting beaten up by gay vigilantes!

The Sun: And On That Bombshell...

In 1997 The Sun said it wasn't going to out people anymore...