Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hunx: I Vant To Suck Your Cock

Happy Halloween!

PS Okay, so this ghoulish Electroclash pastiche isn't exactly sexy Seth's greatest musical moment, but it's the thought that counts, right? (And the sentiment, obvs).

Mamas & Papas: Papa & Papa

Mamas & Papas - a UK-based online store for parent and baby stuff, apparently - have started a new campaign How We Roll, that features straight couples, mixed-race couples, a gay couple and a single mother. 
They all look young and - as I believe the younglings say - "hip".
I said "campaign", but this only seems to exist as a subsection on their website and as - surprise - a press release!

How We Roll celebrates the diversity and individualism that forms the makeup of the modern family, for whom parenting has simply become a positive extension of their current lifestyle. It features real parents, from all walks of life with different lifestyles, interests and personalities and every person has had an interesting and compelling story* to tell us and share with you. See how they roll...

The press release throws up some interesting - though obviously highly questionable - "stats" about gay parenting.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlighted the growing number of families that aren’t necessarily formed of mum, dad and 2.4 children. In 2011 there were 8,000 families with a same-sex couple at the helm, either in a civil partnership or co-habiting, and almost 2 million families with a single parent. The number of families headed by a heterosexual couple was calculated to be 5.5 million...

It appears that a large proportion of the younger population is open-minded to same-sex parenting, as a [self-selecting, online FB] survey conducted by Mamas & Papas revealed. Sixty five per cent of 18-34-year-olds were indifferent or positive towards same-sex parenting, and only 20 per cent were particularly unfavourable. Of those questioned, five per cent of 18-34-year-olds claimed to be in homosexual relationships and have children, compared to only 0.2 per cent of the 35+ age range.

[The first figure on the per centage of same-sex parents will almost certainly be an underestimate, the second an overestimate - they clearly can't both be true].

There's a great sceptical piece on, where creative director, Olivia Robinson 'denied rumours the new campaign was an attempt to gain more exposure: “It is certainly not just a publicity stunt – it comes from a belief that parents are changing.”' 
And ends with the question; "What are your opinions on Mamas & Papas new advertising campaign? Do you think it’s genuine, or just a publicity stunt?"
If only the dafter and churnalistic sections of the gay media would raise such an obvious question.
Usually they're so excited about guff/stuff like this they wet their nappies.

* The gay couple, James and Glen, do not get to tell their story, oddly.

Independent Voices: Comment Of The Day

From Independent Voices.

As a general principle, Fagburn thinks the media shouldn't give attention-seeking Christian nutters the oxygen of publicity they so clearly crave.
And a Christian blaming a terrible disaster on The Gays is as predictable as a dog chasing after a stick. *
But the idea is so wonderfully laughable - and thus makes homophobia and Christianity look all the more ludicrous - I say bring it on.

* 10 major disasters blamed on The Gays from the Advocate.

Celebrity Gossip: Hurricane Chantelle

'Ok had enough, I'm putting the record straight. I've been in fucking bad place for weeks now but reason for that is this: I found text messages on Alex's phone when she was 6 weeks old, it was to a man and he was arranging to meet up with him as Roxanne for sex.
'It wasn't the first time either. So yh I'm in hell right now but who wouldn't be.'
'And katie price was right cos now Alex wants half of my money and Dolly's money too that we put in a trust fund for her from first ok mag shoot.
'And for the record I've been asking Alex to send me a schedule of when he'd like to see dolly but he won't commit. He can come and see her.
'Whenever he wants to. Oh and yes when I was 8 months pregnant Alex turned my house into a sex dungeon and I slept on my flat floor for days cos I couldn't come home.
'Now I know what Katie price went through and she got the blame back then! I will walk to the end of the earth for my daughter and he will not be getting my money nor will he get Dolly's money.'
'And NO I didn't know Alex cross dressed cos he told me it was a publicity stunt, I found out when I was pregnant.'
'Not forgetting the hookers he was texting that he'd had orgies with. Forgive me if I look like shit right now but I fucking feel it.'Whole world was ripped apart in an instant.
'And I've texted the guy who he was arranging to meet and told him what I think of him too. Fucking sick dragging me into this. It's wrong.
'Jesus Christ it's all coming out now isn't it. I'm finding out so much.

Chantelle's tweets about her-ex Alex Reid which sent the Twittersphere ablaze yesterday (and the tabloids today, obvs).

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The People's Songs: Smalltown Boy

Today BBC Radio 2 broadcast a documentary by Stuart Maconie, Smalltown Boy: Mother Will Never Understand, part of a series The People's Songs: The Story Of Modern Britain in 50 Records.
Obviously, I'm gagging to hear it, it's my specialist subject and I'm a big fan of Mr Maconie, but my computer's playing silly buggers and I can't access iPlayer.
Here's the puff though, which was presumably written by Stuart...

"British pop has had a long and colourful history of powerful and visionary movers and shakers who just happened to be gay..."  

Erm, saying they "just happened to be gay", as well as being a laughable cliche, implies that you think their sexuality was of no significance.
If so why write a documentary about them, then?

"Openly gay pop music only arrived in the UK in the early '80s with the likes of The Pet Shop Boys and Bronski Beat..."

BZZT! Neither Chris Lowe or Neil Tennant were out in the 80s.
Also, it's a, it's a, it's a cardinal sin to call Pet Shop Boys "the Pet Shop Boys."
I could go on, but I'll probably start boring myself, but this doesn't bode well.
I know, picky picky...

PS And if you're interested in the subject of Pop music and The Gays in the 80s why not go to this talk in that London next month, Poofters, Pop & Pandemics? Sounds unmissable!

State Of The Art: Talking Out Their Arts

This is so not my sort of thing - just sounds like a load of pretentious bourgeois art-wank that boils no cabbages -  but I wish them well.

Barclay's Bank: So Big On Diversity They Even Like Bigots

This story appeared in the Sunday Express two days ago:

SOME of Britain’s leading banks and blue chip firms have been urged to withdraw their support from an awards event that brands the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland a bigot for opposing gay marriage.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien has been nominated as equal rights charity Stonewall’s Bigot of the Year, with the recipient due to be announced at the Stonewall Awards ceremony next week.
So far, so predictable.
But it ended with this quote from Mark McLane, Barclays’ Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion:

“Let me be absolutely clear that Barclays does not support that award category either financially, or in principle and have informed Stonewall that should they decide to continue with this category we will not support this event in the future.”

Today this was picked up by various anti-gay websites, such as the Christian Institute, and Christian Voice (who may have created this Hurricane Sandy in a teacup - Barclay's had happily sponsored the awards for five years), who shouted Hosanna in the highest heavens at this (apparent) news. 
The line seemed a rather incongruous thing for a "director of diversity" to say - and, moreover, it was in the Express, so I thought I'd check with Mark if he'd actually said it.
His PA sent me a letter he's written, to clarify his position, where he writes in conclusion;

"I have recently been made aware of the inclusion of a ‘Bigot of the Year’ category in the awards. Let me be absolutely clear that Barclays does not support that award category either financially, or in principle and have informed Stonewall that should they decide to continue with this category we will not support this event in the future. To label any individual so subjectively and pejoratively runs contrary to our view on fair treatment, and detracts from what should be a wholly positively focused event."

To which the only possible response is... eh?

PS Email me if you want the full text of the letter. You may also want to read War On Want's report Banking On Bloodshed. Or this, on Barclay's and the Libor rate-fixing scandal.
Nice people to do business with!

Update: I understand Stonewall have told Barclay's "Fine, goodbye then".

Update 2: Good piece by Archie Bland in Wednesday's Independent on how this affair exposes Barclay's (and Coutts) public image of being "gay-friendly" as insincere and cynical PR. 

Tom Cruise: Family Guy?

Fagburn will make no comment on the fact that the drunk dude arrested in the grounds of Tom Cruise's mansion late the other night turns out to be a male model and interior designer.
Particularly at what must be a difficult time for the pint-sized Hollywood legend, Scientologist and notorious heterosexual.
And, despite what some cruel mouths have been whispering, the man had broken in, and wasn't trying to break out. 
But an eagle-eyed reader has pointed out how this frankly bizarre incident appears to have been precogged in an episode of Family Guy.
Life, as Oscar Wilde might have said, may merely have been imitating art.

Thanks to Rhian and Paul. x

Nick Griffin: University Challenged

On Friday, Leeds Student, the paper I edit, printed an interview with Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP. Later that day, the NUS published an open letter demanding that I remove the piece from our website immediately, arguing that fascists should not be granted a platform to express their political views.
The NUS claim that: "Leeds Student risks giving legitimacy to a fascist organisation, and boosts the BNP's attempts to join the political mainstream." Adding: "We... demand the editor of the Leeds Student reconsider this grave error and remove the interview with fascist Nick Griffin from their website and newspaper immediately."
During the speaker-phone interview, Griffin was as vile as you might expect. His responses prompted much outraged gesticulation within our paper offices as we all tried to stay quiet. He told our interviewer James Greenhalgh, who is a gay student, that the sight of two men kissing is "creepy".
Of course I considered the effect these comments could have on, say, a vulnerable, first-year student who is struggling to come to terms with their sexuality – and I mitigated this risk as much as possible. The interviewer spoke to LGBT committee members before printing, and we decided to include the fact that the interviewer is gay in the piece. We also wrote an editorial explaining why we believe it is important that student papers do not shy away from confronting extreme politics...

Lucy Snow, writing for Guardian Education.

I'm with Lucy Snow, for what it's worth.
The NUS has often taken a childish, censorious "no platform" position on free speech. 
Although the interview was done in the wake of Griffin tweeting the addresses of the gay couple in the latest B&B case, it does seem odd/off that more than half of the interview is given over to his views on homosexuality.
I also would have liked it to be more hard-hitting - actually I'd much prefer it if he'd just smashed Nick Griffin's fugly face in with a shitty shovel* - but well done to James Greenhalgh for challenging this Neo-Nazi shitbag's attempts to windowdress his racist and homophobic views as the voice of moderate reason.

* Legal notice: This is a fantasy and not an incitement to violence. Fagburn is a pacifist along Gandhian lines. Thank you.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Orlando: Don't Kill My Rage

I felt so full of rage tonight.
Then I thought of this song.
And then I got angry all over again, because the world didn't love Orlando.
"Oh - what's the bloody point?"

Gay TV: The Fightback Begins!

Fight back against Gay TV in your home!

The homosexual lobby is subverting society by infiltrating our homes.

Buried in the noise of the presidential campaign and everything else, a new TV show aired last month on NBC. Dubbed, "The New Normal" the TV show centers on a homosexual pair who consider themselves "married" and are having a baby by surrogate.

At least one NBC affiliate in Utah found the content of the show to be so objectionable, they refused to air it. The show runs during prime time hours and is intended to make light of homosexual relations and surrogate motherhood.
Most critically, the show, as its title implies, is attempting to normalize deviant behavior.

There's nothing normal about homosexual equivalency and gay parenting. If fact, it's so abnormal, it is the subject of a TV show where the title insists that it is normal; but an Orwellian twist cannot change reality - it cannot rewrite natural law.

Catholic Online, alongside many faithful across America, is alarmed by this attempt to place the topic of homosexual relations and parenting in prime time where children can be exposed to the normative brainwashing of hyper-liberal media executives whose primary interests are ratings and money.

Producers of the show may even have a different interest, hoping to drive social change by convincing entire households, including children, that homosexual unions are "normal."

In response to this, Catholic Online has developed a petition, which readers are invited to sign. The
petition, which is linked below, will tell the producers of this show that their message of moral decay is unwelcome in our homes...

Catholic Online

It's a good argument, well put.
And who wouldn't take moral guidance from those paragons of moral virtue, the Catholic church?
I urge you to sign this petition forthwith - ideally with a made-up scatological name.

PS E4 have bought The New Normal. No idea when they're showing it, yet.

Penguin Books: There Ought To Be A Law Against It

Random House/Bertlesmann takeover/merger confirmed
Era ends.
I can't see this having a happy ending.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Shameless Plug: Poofs & Pop

The first in a series of talks organised by the Lesbian & Gay Newsmedia Archive
Wednesday 28th November at the Bishopsgate Institute, London EC2.

Richard Smith: The Queen Is Dead: How Pop came out in the 80s (Then went back in again)
Richard is a freelance writer and author of Seduced and Abandoned: Essays on gay men and popular music.

Dr Lucy Robinson: Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me: Aids related charity singles in Thatcher's Britain
Lucy is Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Sussex and author of Gay Men and the Left in Post-War Britain: How the personal got political.

Entry is free, but numbers are limited, so please book and secure your place:  (0207 7392 9200). More details here.

Soft drinks and hard liquor will be available!

Tom Daley: Shameless Plug

Our Tom now has a thing on something called Keek.
Clearly understanding his fanbase, he tweeted the above "cheeky pic :)" as a plug for it.
Yes, he's obviously being paid plenty handbag to promote the site, but if someone wants to pay Tom Daley to take his clothes off that's fine by me.
He has posted some - let's be frank - adorable short videos on Keek of him getting up to some crazy high jinx like having a haircut, dressing up for Halloween, driving in his car, hearing a fire alarm, and enjoying "some action" in Dubai (bit disappointing this last one).
Anyway - enjoy!

Savilegate: On Erudite Homophobia

I'm so bored with having been endlessly retweeted this essay by Andrew O'Hagan from London Review Of Books over the weekend, and being how told how wonderful it is, I'm going to repeat myself.
Yes, it's fascinating, and seems informed - though can anyone check any of his allegations from 50/60 years ago?
Is its popularity with some, perhaps, because its subtext could be; "It was basically The Gays, you know"?
It's a very, very long article written off the back of Jimmy Savile being accused of sexually assaulting 300 girls.
So why does he only really write about some well-known and long-dead gay men?  

Could O'Hagan's argument not be summarised by these lines from Jim Davidson writing on his blog, ironically published at about the same time that the LRB piece was published. 

"To me [Savile] was just another pervert.
There are lots of them in Showbiz. There seems to be more gay ones than straight, but that's because there are probably more gays in showbiz than most professions."

Same argument, less fancy words, more simply put...

Frank Ocean: Happy 25th Birthday

Best wishes and the best of luck to you, Frank.
This happy occasion might be a good opportunity to revisit a few points about what became one of the most discussed music stories of the year.
Frank Ocean has never described himself as gay, or as a gay man.
Most of the songs on Channel Orange are clearly about women.
The song Forrest Gump is about falling in love with a man, and he says it's autobiographical.
But he's also said the relationship it describes - "my first love" - is in the past, and suggests it was a one-off (Read his Tumblr post on this here).
As far as I know he's only spoken about the "coming out" circus this gave rise to in one interview (in the UK press, at any rate), with The Guardian Guide
Much of the gay media were very excited about all this, though many seemed not to have listened to the album, or to what he's actually said.
The Advocate, America's biggest gay magazine, put him on the cover.
But, perhaps tellingly, Frank didn't give them an interview.
I'm not a mind-reader, and nor do I know him, so I have no way of knowing if Frank Ocean is actually gay (though it would be odd for him to be so candid and then write a load of love songs using the female pronoun).
But I also can't see any reason to try and shoehorn him into an identity that he doesn't use himself.

Update: Independent article on two gay club nights that play Hip Hop, It's A Hard Cock Life and Pac-Man.
Mentions Frank Ocean's "coming out", natch.
Try and guess which leading authority on Hip Hop they ask about it... Peter Tatchell!
Inspired journalism. 

Boys' Home Scandal: Heath, Thatcher And Hague Implicated

Rod Richards, a former Conservative MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Tories, made the shocking allegation that he had seen evidence linking Sir Peter Morrison to the North Wales children’s homes case, in which up to 650 children in 40 homes were sexually, physically and emotionally abused over 20 years.
Mr Richards also linked a second leading Tory grandee – now dead – to the scandals at homes including Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn Hall, both near Wrexham...

Both the Mail on Sunday and Daily Star Sunday have gone big with this today. 
Though the Star's story - involving an unnamed rent boy (who has since apparently "vanished") and an unnamed cabinet minister and from an unnamed police "source" - is so vague it's hard to tell what it's referring to, and if it's connected to the above.
Or indeed, if the Star haven't made it all up.
The Peter Morrison story was broken by Edwina Currie who wrote in her diaries that he was "a noted pederast" - a story The Sunday Times broke last week.
This led to several daft conspiracy theories, and speculation Edward Heath was involved.
The Independent asked 'Was there a paedophile ring in No 10?'
Erm, in a word... no.
Two more questions:
Who is the late Tory grandee mentioned - and why isn't he named?
If he means Heath too, then why not just say so?
The informed consensus seems to be that he was gay, but incredibly repressed, and almost certainly never had sex with anyone.
And moreover, why didn't Rod Richards and Edwina Currie speak out about this before?

PS Sorry for the sensationalist headline, but it seems to be obligatory in the current climate of hysteria. 

Derek Jacobi & Ian McKellen: Vicious Old Queens?

Newsflash! I rang the ITV press office and was told this story was "pure speculation" (which doesn't mean that it's not definitely going to happen). As always, depressing how many gay websites ran this without questioning it or checking it.  

ACTING legend Sir Ian McKellen is to swap movie blockbusters for primetime telly.
He will star in a major new ITV1 sitcom, Vicious Old Queens, alongside Sir Derek Jacobi, 74.
The show, scheduled for Friday nights starting next April, will feature the two as elderly gay men living together in London’s ­Covent Garden...
Six half-hour episodes have been commissioned, written by American Gary Janetti, executive producer [and writer] of long-running US sitcom Will And Grace.

This comes from Daily Star Sunday, and I can find no other reference online, so one could doubt its veracity (I'll check on Monday).
Can't remember the last British "gay sitcom" - though that may be because I've blotted them from my mind.

Update: I phoned Sir Ian's agent and asked about this, and was told "We have no comment to make" so emphatically and repeatedly, I wonder if something is in the pipeline...

Update 2: Only took eight days for someone else to bother to check this story - Media Guardian suggest it's happening. Here's their earlier take on it - churnalism that I've been pestering their Reader's Editor about. A victory of sorts. Ho hum..

Channel 4: For Nothing

"Their [C4's] ethos had become, 'ratings are the most important thing'. Then we found the pressure was on Brookside. Although we had the Jordache [family] saga and domestic violence, what got us most attention was the lesbian kiss... we fell into the ratings trap."
"In 1982, it was very clear: Channel 4 catered for minorities and it facilitated people's ideas – they were the two key things... 30 years later: what minorities are they catering for and how are they facilitating people's ideas? That's not to say they're not doing good stuff, but they're not actually contributing anything to the social fabric. What are they doing, except just keeping themselves in a job?"

Phil Redmond - Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks creator - talking to The Independent On Sunday.
What's happened to Channel 4 is a tragedy and a travesty of what it was meant to be.
Remember Out On Tuesday, Red Triangle, Queer As Folk...
Its remit states:

The service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular:
  • demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and content of programmes;
  • appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;
  • makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value; and
  • exhibits a distinctive character.
Today's highlights include Beach Volleyball (Live), endless repeats of ancient US sitcoms, five repeats of Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, a magic show, Deal Or No Deal, American Football Live...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Hans Werner Henze: 1926-2012

Composer, communist, homosexual.

Sebastian Coe: Wrestling With William Hague

After he lost his seat in 1997, he was scooped up by the new Tory leader, William Hague, still a great personal friend. While George Osborne and The Times’ Daniel Finkelstein provided political strategy, Coe’s job was to ensure both the party (with its devastated finances and denuded staff) and Hague himself shaped up. He had him eat pasta salad and take up judo. The rumours of semi-naked wrestling in the gym under Jeffrey Archer’s apartment building played into speculation that Hague was gay. “It was absolutely risible, but that’s life,” says Coe.
“Someone had to work the night shift,” Hague said of his inglorious leadership. But Coe’s position as faithful lieutenant led to Hague nominating him for a peerage, which undoubtedly added to his gravitas as head of the Olympic bid... 

The Times
Probably best if I say nothing.
But doesn't the younger Seb Coe look like William's other "friend" Christopher Myers?

US TV Sitcoms: Are We Family?

In terms of change, one of the most startling developments is the growth in the number of sitcom gay characters and their acceptability to the viewing public.
Modern Family is a mega-hit comedy that features three families - a white couple with 2.4 kids, an interracial marriage between a white man and a Hispanic woman, and a gay couple who are raising an adopted daughter.
The show isn't about politically correct cliches. In one episode, the gay couple - Cameron and Mitchell - want to get their toddler into a popular school. Worried that their sexuality isn't enough to win over the ultra-liberal headmaster, Cameron pretends to be a Native American. His improvised "injun" accent is met with a stony silence and the daughter doesn't get her place.
Given that it explores race and sexuality with such frankness, we might expect Modern Family to be something that mostly Democrats watch. In fact, both Obama and Romney have cited it as their favourite show and Republicans in general are more likely to watch it than Democrats... 

Tim Stanley writing on BBC Online

Or, alternatively, you could argue that gay characters are more acceptable in sitcoms than elsewhere in TVland because the audience can laugh at them...

Tim Stanley presents Family Guys? What Sitcoms Say About American Now on BBC2 tonight.

Thought For The Day: Sir Ian McKellen

“I think that’s why so many great British actors are gay - we spent so long pretending to be straight, to be someone else, that eventually we became very good at it.”

Quoted in The Telegraph
From a school talk he gave - watch it here

Strictly Come Dancing: You Lead, I'll Follow

The judges have been giving Richard [Arnold] confusing signals, one week telling him to camp it up more then telling him to tone it down the next.
But would the Daybreak showbiz reporter, who played the Dolly Parton role in his 9 to 5-inspired routine, rather be embracing his feminine side and dancing the follower’s steps?
In the run-up to the show’s launch the 42-year-old told Radio 5 Live he quite fancied dancing with Anton du Beke.
He told Richard Bacon: "The BBC said who would be your preferred partner and I did say Anton - someone with a good sense of humour and a firm hand - but apparently the programme hasn't moved that far forward yet."
And why shouldn't we break the dancing gender stereotypes?
At dance classes and socials around the country same-sex couples are hardly a rarity, whether by choice or necessity.
Many teachers will refer to leaders and followers rather than men and women...
So maybe the BBC should pair the couples and they choose who leads and who follows. Then Erin could just wear the trousers all the time.

Ann Gripper in the Daily Mirror.

It does seem rather antiquated if you think how no-one* these days really bats an eyelid at how regularly you'll see same-sex couples in everything from property programmes, to soap operas to game shows.
And how so many of the most popular contestants (and judges) on Strictly have been screaming queens.

* Apart from a few neo-Nazis and religious nutjobs, obvs.

Poll: Who's Really Prejudiced?

More middle-class voters regard themselves as leftwing than do working-class voters, and working-class people show less support for overseas aid and immigration than middle-class voters, according to a new YouGov poll, commissioned by Progress, the Labour pressure group.
The findings arguably underline the complex challenge faces in reconnecting with people who were once described as Labour's core supporters...
There is little class difference in overall support shown for gay marriage, nationalising the rail companies or putting workers on company boards...

Reported in The Guardian.
Good to see some more evidence of how the claim that working-class people are somehow uniquely homophobic - and that the issue of gay marriage turns off working-class voters - is nonsensical and without foundation.
For more on the demonisation of the working class, read Owen Jones' Chavs.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Savilegate: A Philosopher Writes

The BBC has finally gone mental. This hot bed of leftyness has asked itself the question: "Should we have known?" The answer is yes. We all knew didn't we? 
A bloke who's a loner dresses and acts like a nonce and thinks he is the most important person in the world. Hmmm. I knew... and didn't do anything. Mind you I had no proof. To me he was just another pervert. 
There are lots of them in Showbiz. There seems to be more gay ones than straight, but that's because there are probably more gays in showbiz than most professions. 

Troubled comedian, racist and wifebeater, Jim Davidson, writing on his hilarious (unintentionally) blog.

Update: 'The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has written to the Vatican to ask if Jimmy Savile's papal knighthood can be posthumously removed, the Church has confirmed.
'The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, asked Church officials in Rome to investigate the matter, recognising the "deep distress" of the late presenter's abuse victims...'

BBC News
Satire dies once more! Hypocrisy throws a party!! Irony spontaneously combusts!!!

Update: Fascinating, lengthy essay by Andrew O'Hagan in London Review Of Books; "If the Savile story – and the stories that constitute a hinterland at the BBC – turn out to involve a great conspiracy, it will be a conspiracy that the whole country had a part in..."

PS The O'Hagan piece has gone viral on Twitter - hopefully not because his subtext could be "it was mainly The Gays". 

Mary Whitehouse: Making Britain A Gayer Place

Whitehouse, Thompson suggests, was 'an artist who found her voice in trying to silence others'. For instance, when she prosecuted Michael Bogdanov for "procuring persons for an act of gross indecency in a public place" in directing the National Theatre production of Howard Brenton's The Romans in Britain, this led to an 18-month drama of a court case improvised by Whitehouse. That drama involved a media circus, a QC's crisis of conscience, bitter recriminations and the verdict that turned on a thumb being misidentified as an actor's penis. All of this, Thompson suggests, was "little short of a masterpiece" – something he couldn't say of Brenton's leftist agitprop with its homosexual rape scene. The puritan in horn-rimmed specs, here and elsewhere, made Britain even gayer (possibly in both senses of the word) than it would otherwise have been...

From Stuart Jeffries' Guardian review of Ban This Filth!: Letters From the Mary Whitehouse Archive edited by Ben Thompson.
Book of the year?

Update: Great piece by your actual editor, Ben Thompson, in FT Weekend, that claims Mary was inadvertently "the godmother of gay liberation". 

Bradley Manning: London Vigil

Newsflash! Hearing postponed due to hurricane - London vigil also put on hold...

Bradley Manning will be back in court at Fort Meade from the 30th October to 2nd November for a trial motion hearing.
Supporters of the accused whistleblower will be holding a vigil outside the US embassy, Grosvenor Square on Tuesday 30th October at 2pm, playing the whole Collateral Murder audio track.
Further info from Veterans for Peace UK.

The Onion: Finding Masculine Halloween Costumes For Your Effeminate Son

Anna Stephenson stops by Today NOW! to show parents of girly sons costume tips to survive Halloween without accentuating their child's already obvious homosexuality.

You can't beat the classics.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Scissor Sisters: 2001-2012?

Scissor Sisters have announced they are splitting up "going on hiatus".
In a statement the New York band said; "This is due to musical differences - ie no-one liked our recent music."

Thought For The Day: Julian Clary

"Given there are so many gay people in the Catholic church, I thought they’d be all for [Gay marriage]. It’s fear and ignorance masquerading as intelligent opinion.
“They should get their house in order before they tell gay men how to live. It doesn’t really affect them so they should shut up.”

Julian Clary in The Daily Record.

PS Julian knows of which he speaks. He went to St Bendecit's - a private Catholic school, now involved in a child abuse scandal so huge it makes Jimmy Savile look like a lightweight.
If anyone seriously cares about stopping child abuse they should be campaigning for closing down the Catholic church immediately.

Savilegate: Welcome To Salem!

A powerful paedophile network may have operated in Britain protected by its connections to Parliament and Downing Street, a senior Labour politician suggested yesterday. 
Speaking from the back benches of the House of Commons, Tom Watson, the deputy chairman of the Labour Party, called on the Metropolitan Police to reopen a closed criminal inquiry into paedophilia.
Indicating his anxiety that there had been an establishment cover-up, Mr Watson referred to the case of Peter Righton, who was convicted in 1992 of importing and possessing illegal homosexual pornographic material...
In the aftermath of Mr Watson’s remarks, media outlets speculated that he was referring to the  late former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath – who was the subject of unsubstantiated rumours about sex with under-age boys – or to Sir Peter Morrison, a former Downing Street aide who died  in 1995...

The Independent.

This is getting stupid now.
Tom Watson should know better than pandering to this tinfoil hat conspiracy nonsense.
You can clearly say any old balls you want about this now.
Please wake me when this nightmare's over.

Daily Mirror: Sex Tips From A Gay Man

In a word... no.

Quite funny piece in the Mirror by Siobhan McNally.

Lots of things are OK – dressing up, sex in a lift, dirty talk, crotchless knickers, handcuffs, edibles, ­Marigolds, Fairy Liquid... oops sorry, that was my shopping list.
But if he suggests anything that involves cutlery or the family hamster, then feel free to say no.
Perhaps even suggest an alternative activity – like finally getting around to mowing the lawn.

PS The book sounds like junk - I predict huge sales. Post 50 Shades Of Grey, it's obvious you can sell any old rubbish about sex. I know - who knew!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Ceefax: 1974-2012

Sad day.
Bunking off school in the 80s would have been so much more boring - and less informative - without you.


Monday, 22 October 2012

Fagburn: To The Boy Next Door

You knocked on my door this morning
and you gave me my post.
It was kind of you.
But my head was elsewhere
as ever
It was early and I was curt and offish.
("Hi, thanks, goodbye")
As I too often always am.
(If someone knocks on my door, unexpected, I always think it's gonna be bailiffs).
I didn't realise you were moving out today
(until later and I saw you passing boxes through your window)
And maybe you just wanted to say goodbye. 
Strange now to think of you gone
and how I'll probably never see you again.

Coalition 4 Marriage: We Done Made A Video!

A predictably brilliant and extremely persuasive video from Coalition 4 Marriage.
Although, not actually being retarded myself, it's hard to make out what point it's trying to make, but apparently that gay marriage thing is wrong, and we must return to a lost Eden where children have sex and put cardboard boxes on their heads.
Praise be.
Great stuff guys!

Fagburn: Mea Culpa

Sorry I haven't blogged today, I was doing something else.
Doesn't seem to be much in the papers, anyway.
There were two things in The Independent that made me fuming and spannercated, but probably best to let them pass.

Anders Als Die Andern: Hilfe!

The only known complete copy of Anders Als Die Andern [Different From The Others] - arguably the first surviving film to be explicitly about a gay relationship - has been discovered in Ukraine.
Made in Weimar Germany in 1919, this and other gay films were destroyed by the Nazis.
The Outfest Legacy Project For LGBT Film Preservation is trying to raise $5,000 to restore, and create an educational DVD version of it, via Kickstarter.
Please give generously etc.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Paul O'Grady: Pure Class

"The Catholic Church has no right to wag the finger at gay people. How can we respect a church that has encouraged paedophiles by moving them from one parish to another, free to carry on again? Homophobia is still rife in society. It's all, 'everything is lovely with being gay now,' but it's not. At all. Don't let them kid you...

"It's Sheriff-of-Nottingham times: 'What do the working classes eat? Pasties. Let's tax those. Where do they go on their holidays? In static caravans. We'll tax them.' I didn't notice a tax on polo mallets...

"Why aren't the bankers in the dock? The working classes are suffering in this country. They're a joke in the media – they're portrayed as chavs and rioters...

"I loathe Cameron; I loathe Osborne. We didn't vote them in and yet here they are deciding for us. I'd like to see their heads on spikes on Tower Bridge. Seriously. I'd sleep well."

Paul O'Grady on cracking form in The Independent.

Barbara Ellen: Heterophobia

Does Nick Griffin really live in a dark parallel universe where heterophobia needs to hear the word "No"? Where straight-bashing is on the rise – innocent heterosexual men leaving pubs, to be confronted by hordes of pissed-up Marys in Kylie T-shirts swinging baseball bats, crying: "You women-fancying perverts are going to pay!"? 
On Planet Griffin, are straight couples campaigning for the right to marry, straight parents frowned upon everywhere save for a few trendy London boroughs?
Moreover, are schoolchildren thoughtlessly taunting each other with slang such as: "That's just straight"? Are some of these children committing suicide rather than facing coming out as "non-gay"? 
Is there is a culture in film and TV for there to be a token straight, who spouts straight cliches and affects straight mannerisms and has little else to do but be an amusing straight best friend for the lead gay characters to bounce off?

Barbara Ellen, The Observer.

Oh, Miss Babs, let me count the ways I love you. x

Bent Cousin: I Think I Like Your Girlfriend More Than You

Sunday morning, day is dawning...
Straight outta Brighton!
Well, not that straight, obvs.

Bent Cousin.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

March Against Austerity: Queer Resistance

Brighton Queers Against Cuts and Queer Resistance bloc.

Photo by Beth Granter.

PS Great. But maybe try and connect more with working-class LGBT people, so it doesn't descend into rich kids' lifestyle-ism.
More from Murray Bookchin on this "unbridgeable chasm" here.

Noam Chomsky: First, Do No Harm

In the case of South Africa, for example, in which I was involved in the boycotts, they were highly selective and they were selected in a way which would lead to help for the victims, not to make us feel good, help for the victims. The same in the case of the Vietnam war, where I was involved, and I was imprisoned many times, I was involved in civil disobedience, organizing resistance and so on.
But we always had to ask ourselves, when we pick a certain tactic, what does it mean for the Vietnamese, not what does it mean for us? And sometimes there are things you should do and sometimes there are things you shouldn’t do, and in fact they were very helpful in that regard...

In the case of any tactic, you ask yourself, what are its consequences, ultimately for the victims, and indirectly for the audience you are trying to reach... That’s the question you ask when you carry out any tactic, whether it is disobedience, breaking bank windows, demonstrations, whatever it is. Those are the questions you ask if you care about the victims, if you don’t care about the victims, you won’t bother with these questions and you just do what makes you feel good...

Noam Chomsky interviewed by Electronic Intifada on an academic boycott of Israel.

What he says also rings true about much Western gay campaigning on issues in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
It's usually "We must do something!" solipsistic, patronising, Orientalist, feel-good a/politics, with no thought about the consequences - which are often negative - for the people they're supposedly trying to help.
See All Out, Kaleidoscope Trust, Saint Tatchell et al.

PS The phrase "First, do no harm", often quoted by Uncle Noam, comes from the Hippocratic oath. 

Thought For The Day: Derren Brown

"I didn't go out drinking, wasn't going to the gym, and that whole [gay] world I didn't fit into. That feeling of alienation can turn into an envy, and it becomes an issue. Sexuality is often tied in with something you feel you lack in yourself and look for in others."

Interview in The Guardian

I so like Derren Brown.
And yes, when you hear - or read - "anti-gay" gay men slagging off other gay men it usually is a sign of envy and/or class prejudice, against all those "dreadful queens" who are looking sexy, having sex and having far more fun than they are.
Some posh cunts have made a career out of pedaling this crap.
Can you believe it?
Many of us don't feel we really fit in, only a fascist would try and turn it into an ideology. 
Thankfully, the days when you could get any old gay Uncle Tom guff ("Gay men are awful, I know, I'm one...") printed in the broadsheets have long-since passed.
Fuck 'em.

Orlando Cruz: More Boxing News!

LA Times.

Fnarr fnarr!
Great stuff guys etc etc. 

Friday, 19 October 2012

Spirit Day: Wear Purple!

Spirit Day is an annual day in October when millions [sic] of Americans wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

From GLAAD's website.
Their mission here is ended - the banalification of gay politics and its subsumation into silly, pointless self-serving PR gestures is now complete.
And remember: Only sentimental old tosh like this can truly set you free.

Village People: Vs Village Idiots

After 35 years of belting out YMCA and In the Navy, the Village People are still bothered by one question: what’s this gay subtext that people keep mentioning?
They have been described as “the first gay superstar group”. One of the original members was discovered dancing in a Native American head-dress in a gay nightclub and several others answered a job advert reading: “Macho types wanted. Must have moustache.”
But in an interview in a new documentary about the disco explosion in the 1970s, the group deny that there is any subtext to their work.
In The Secret Disco Revolution, Felipe Rose, the original Native American character in the Village People, protests that “we are just a party band”.
David “Scar” Hodo, better known as the construction worker, says: “People always talk about the double entendres. There was not one double entendre in the music.”
Their views are at odds with the premise of Jamie Kastner’s film, which was screened at the 56th BFI London Film Festival this week. 

The Times.

That's most odd - David certainly wasn't in denial when I interviewed him.*
Maybe they just thought the interviewer was a jerk?

PS The idea that Village People were straight - only lead singers Victor Willis and Ray Simpson were - is one of Pop music's most enduring and unchallenged urban myths.
Still, not like a journalist would let the truth get in the way of a good story, eh?
It's also nonsense to say no straight people "got it".
It was a running joke at the time.
Why - to name but two examples from my TV childhood - did Noel Edmonds snigger and snort before playing In The Navy on Swapshop, or why did Roger Daltry introduce them on Top of the Pops with the immortal line; "Mind your backs"?
Every kid in the school playground seemed to "get it". 
Historical revisionism - up yours! 

* Admittedly I didn't get to talk to Felipe, but got to meet him and he was rather frosty. He also spoke rather a lot of overly-defensive balls when Kris Kirk interviewed them for Gay Times in the mid-80s.

Christian Institute: We're Not The BNP At Prayer Honest!

From Christian Institute's laugh-a-minute website.
Fagburn loves the idea this implies that CI think this racist neo-Nazi shitbag has finally gone too far.
A plague on both your houses!

Breaking - A Boxer Is A Gay: Hold The Front Page!

Never understood the strange fascination with "this sort of thing" in the straight press.
Good luck to him and well done and all that, but why is this front page news for The Guardian?
A minor sportsman you've never heard of says he's gay.
Is it the sheer seeming incongruity to their editors?
"He's a boxer, too - a gay man, imagine!"
Like boxing isn't an even gayer sport than diving.
Subtext: "Like a dog walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all" - Samuel Johnson, 1764.
So brave etc etc.
I love being patronised, me. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Equality: B&Bigotry Victory

A gay couple turned away from a bed and breakfast have said it "feels like a triumph" after a court ruled they were discriminated against.
Michael Black, 64, and John Morgan, 59, were told they could not have a double bed at the Berkshire business in March 2010.
The couple, from Brampton, near Huntingdon, were awarded £1,800 each at Reading County Court for "injury to feelings".

BBC News.
Olé, Olé, Olé! etc etc.
And here's the website for the Swiss Bed & Breakfast in Berkshire.
Where "a warm & friendly welcome awaits all guests..."
Ha ha.

Update: BNP leader Nick Griffin has just tweeted Michael and John's home address in what sounds like an invitation to violence.
What a cunt.
I hope people will tweet how Griffin was fucking the National Front leader Martin Webster in the 70s (Google it - or watch a secret filming of Webster talking about it here).

Newsweek: So Farewell Then...

Now moving online only.
You do wonder how many magazines - straight, gay, whatever - will be available in print in a few years time.
Maybe they'll follow Newsweek.
Or, like Time Out did recently, start giving the print edition away for free.
Which is fine by me - I could spend my life quite happily reading magazines, if only they weren't so damned expensive.
Or will they just do what The Word magazine did earlier this year - sadly, as it was Britain's most interesting and intelligent music magazine - and just throw in the towel?
Tick tick tick...

PS Newsweek was just a load of right-wing trash really, so I can't say this will be much of a loss to the world.

PPS Yesterday The Guardian strongly denied a Telegraph story that it was "seriously discussing" ending its print edition. Digital publishing may well be the future, but no-one's really worked out a way to make it pay yet.