Monday, 31 December 2012

Leading Catholic Bloke: New Year Resolution

A leading Catholic leader has promised not to make any stupid and offensive comments about gay marriage in 2013, Fagburn can reveal.
In an exclusive interview, Vincent O'Bigot, the Archbishop of Westfield Shopping Centre, said; "I thought maybe it'd be best if I stopped talking about things that I know nothing about for a bit.
"I'm a bachelor for Christ's sake, hardly the first person you'd go to for advice on marriage.
"I've also started to feel really uneasy about the Catholic Church making statements about morality after that huge child abuse cover-up thing.
"And the Pope was in Hitler Youth FFS!
"It's also slowly dawned on me that demonising and stirring up hatred against a group of people isn't very... Christian, is it?
"I know I'm an archbishop, but really, who am I to preach?"

PS The Archbishop of Westminster has urged Catholics to write to their MPs expressing their fears about gay marriage, and how it will lead to lessons about bumming being made compulsory in schools or something.

Thought For The Day: Simon Amstell

"I used to think that I really had to hang on to my pain otherwise I won't be able to be funny. But actually if I hang on to the same pain that I was feeling a year ago, I'll end up writing the same jokes. I'll become a parody of myself.
"It feels like a constant fight between this very peaceful place where everything's fine, and then you die. And this ego person who needs to do certain things, and be in a certain place. That guy is SO annoying. I understand now that that's not really me – it's just this irritant who is getting in the way of my brilliant life.
"There will always be suffering. Life is suffering, so there will always be new suffering! Thank goodness. Phew."

A cheering thought for the new year there from the future Mrs Fagburn, Simon Amstell.
It's more likely to happen than me and Tom Daley, to be honest, and we'd have more to talk about.
I think my mum would like him, too - a nice Jewish boy etc - though she'd prefer me to marry Alan Bennett, if truth be told.

• Simon's stand-up thing, Numb: Live At The BBC, is on BBC4 tonight; Simon Amstell: Work in Progress is at The Invisible Dot, London N1 from 14th January.

"You wake up. And it just gets darker..."

Jim Davidson: The Ladyboy Defence

CELEBRITY Big Brother star Jim Davidson plans to win over viewers who think he is homophobic by admitting he once had sex with a fella.
The comic was kicked out of TV’s Hell’s Kitchen in 2007 when he called Big Brother host Brian Dowling “a shirtlifter” during a heated argument.Davidson has always denied being anti-gay and claims he had never meant to cause offence.
However, now he has signed to Channel 5’s new series of Celebrity Big Brother, sparks have been flying behind the scenes.
The joker will not only come face to face once again with Brian, 34.
He will also be locked up in the house with gay The X Factor singer Rylan Clark, 24...
However, Davidson has a big secret up his sleeve which he plans to reveal to silence any claims from them that he is homophobic...

The comedian, 59, recalled: “I was in Berlin with my bodyguard and we pulled a couple of girls in a bar.
“I sneaked out the back of this bar and she gave me oral sex.
“Afterwards my minder asked me if I’d noticed anything funny about her.
“I said: ‘Big feet.’ And he said: ‘Adam’s apple, too.’ It was a fella!”

Top racist, right-wing wife-beating comedy legend Jim Davidson in the Daily Star there.

Fagburn calls this "the ladyboy defence" (formerly known as "the Lola defence".
This has never actually happened to any straight man ever, it's just an "hilarious" shaggy dog story they tell down the pub to try and show their man of the world credentials to their mates. 
"Beautiful bird, she was... anyway, turns out she was a bloke!"
Great stuff guys!
Piss off, Jim. 

Glenn Greenwald: Useful Idiots

"A favorite tactic of neocons - who have led the smear campaign against Hagel - is to cynically exploit liberal causes to generate progressive support for their militaristic agenda. They suddenly develop an interest in the plight of gay people when seeking to demonize Iran, or pretend to be devoted to women's rights when attempting to sustain endless war in Afghanistan, or become so deeply moved by the oppression of Muslim factions - such as Iraqi Shia - when it comes time to justify their latest desired invasion...."

Glenn Greenwald, Guardian CiF.

Glenn Greenwald writes on the strange case of how the US gay republican group, Log Cabin Republicans, took out a full-page ad in the New York Times attacking Chuck Hagel and urging President Obama not to appoint him Defense Secretary.
Cause he's "anti-gay".
Oh, and cause he's "anti-Israel".
Even though they've supported politicians in the past who have been against equal marriage.
Guess which one is being used as a smokescreen for an attack about the other?
And double oh, LCR are broke, so who paid for the ad?
Greenwald writes; "Andrew Sullivan is right that this is a classic technique of the neo-con smear campaign - recruit progressives to their cause with exploitation of unrelated issues."
Looks like quite a few fell for it again this time.
I wonder if readers can think of any British gay journalists or leading gay activists who've been duped in this way?
I think the technical political term is "useful idiots".
Or Pinkwashing.

PS One of the best homo journo things to happen in 2012 was the American campaigning journalist Glenn Greenwald getting a regular gig writing for Comment Is Free.
He mainly writes about security issues and that, but the fags creep in occasionally.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

2013: The Year In Preview

Once more Fagburn follows the newspapers lead on how to make up for the lack of anything interesting happening right now by "looking forward to" some things a-happening next year.

Anniversary: Britten 100.
Endless events throughout the year, including the annual Aldeburgh Festival.
The nation's favourite pederast is also being put on a 50p piece by the Royal Mint.
So swallow that, Turing! *

Book: Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls - David Sedaris. 
Published by Little, Brown in April.
David's first new collection of essays for five years.
Apart from the fact there are 288 pages, there are no other details available as yet - unbelievable.
Fagburn is also looking forward to Morrissey's "long-awaited" autobiography - 'We're Just Friends, Mother, Now Put Kettle On And We'll Hear No More About It' - not being published again next year. 

Exhibition: David Bowie Is
V&A from March.
Suitably pretentious and unwittingly hilarious name for this is.
Frocks and music and art and shit from the Dame.
Now officially your actual culture (is).

Film: Behind The Candelabra. 
Michael Douglas as "flamboyant pianist" Liberace, Matt Damon as his evil boyfriend, Scott.
Lee was so ace.
Made by HBO, so bum knows where and when you can watch this in the UK.
Yes, I know it's not a proper cinematic-theatre release film, so don't write in.

Museum: ABBA The Museum.
Stockholm, opens May.
Fagburn is currently accepting offers of all-expenses paid trips to Sweden to go and see this.

Music: Kraftwerk - The Catalogue
Tate Modern, February.
Only Ralf's left, you know.
And it'll just be some robots miming anyway.
But, you know, it's Kraftwerk, innit.
I'll probably just go and see The Fall again again.

Radio: PM.
Weekdays 5pm, BBC Radio 4.
The nightmare scenario at Fagburn Mansions is that Eddie Mair will be nabbed by Newsnight in a BBC shakedown next year.
As long as she stays at PM we will be happy.

TV Show: Splash!
The Tom Daley tellybox thing starts next Saturday evening on ITV1.
I'm feeling wet already...

Theatre: The Book Of Mormon.
Prince of Wales Theatre, that London from March.
South Park dudes, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, mock the stupidity of religion - via the magic of song.
Almost certainly as awesome as everyone says it is.

Trial: Bradley Manning.
It's the show trial of the century!
Currently set to commence mid-March, but they'll almost certainly delay it a few more times in the hope that Brad cracks up.
A cruel and unusual punishment indeed.

And finally... 
Disaster Of The Year: Vicious.
ITV1, "late Spring".
Call me Nostragaymus, but I confidently predict that the now renamed Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi sit-com about two old queens will be record-breakingly bad and butthurtingly awful.
Can't wait.

* It's also Camus' centenary, not sure how to celebrate that one, though.
Maybe frowning.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Michael Barrymore: V For Vendetta

From false allegations of sexual assault to the lurid coverage of the death of Stuart Lubbock in his swimming pool, the comedian has been the subject of an extraordinary volume of negative headlines. Looking back, he believes he was the victim of a press vendetta partly motivated by his aloofness towards the redtops (he rarely gave interviews) – and partly orchestrated by his former wife and manager, Cheryl, whom he acrimoniously divorced in 1998.He also suspects that newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International, whose parent company News Corp controls the rival Sky TV network, had a commercial motive in targeting him. "It smacks me that there was a definite conspiracy to destroy ITV's main brand at the time: 'We want to get rid of anything that works for them'.
"I never shy away from the fact that I'm an alcoholic and that I have had my problems, but I've never murdered anybody. I've never got up in the morning and thought I'll harm someone. I've just had an extraordinary sequence of events that have been on public display, that I've had no control over."
He adds: "[The press] killed Michael Barrymore. My [real] name is Michael Parker, but Michael Barrymore is dead. Although I have been a couple of times to the jumping-off point, I didn't kill myself. If I had, it would have completed the story."

Michael Barrymore profiled in the Independent - his first national newspaper interview in a decade, they claim.

There is much that is interesting/frightening in this article about what sounds like collusion between the Met and the News of the World after Stuart Lubbock's death - which post-Hackgate shouldn't surprise anyone.

I've always suspected they were just out to get Michael Barrymore whatever - though I think homophobia was the main spur, not TV rivalry.
It wasn't just the Murdoch titles that were hoping Barrymore's sorry story would have a really unhappy ending, and went in for the kill.
Michael's downfall, in a scandal that involved celebrity, gay sex, drugs and death, was too good for any of the tabloids to let go of.
Note: "On 22 September 2002, the Sunday Mirror pictured Barrymore on the front page next to the headline: You Are a Killer, without even the customary quotation marks."
Might I suggest a title for a TV documentary about all this - You've Been Framed.
The poor sod.

Caitlin Moran: Eh?

Caitlin Moran - who's usually interesting and entertaining - has written a piece for The Times today about The Gays and equality and that.
Two slight problems.

1. It's behind the Murdoch paywall, so you probably can't read it.

2. I'm not really sure what she's trying to say.


Edit/update: This became quite a thing on Twitter and on the blogosphere, mainly because of this opening paragraph;

"When I first started being serious about being a bleeding heart pinko liberal lefty right-on lover of women, gays, disableds, mentals, the working class, transsexuals and all the ethnics – apart from the Chinese, obviously. It’s difficult to trust them. They’re a cruel race. Or is that supposed to be the Japanese? I can never remember – I did it because it seemed to be the right thing. The polite thing. The noble thing."

Her use of words like "gays" and "mentals" is clearly ironic - and if you can't see that you're stupid.
Apologies to any members of the stupid community I may have offended.
Others found the whole thing rather patronising and/or offensive.
I just found it rather garbled and a lame, wet liberal non-argument more suited to a school debating society. 
It does seem like Moran must have dashed this one off in a hurry, but it's good to know even she can have her off-days.

New Year Honours: Knight Daley!

Obviously Fagburn disapproves of the whole honours' system thing - and if her majesty offered me one of her trifles I would turn it down flat.
Just being me is sufficient enough honour for any chap, thank you.
But surely Tom Daley deserved a knighthood - for services to wanking diving and that.
So how about it next time, Liz?
Come on ma'am, show us you care!

PS "Tom Daley and Liam Payne’s bromance is gathering speed. The diving champ and One Direction star hit it off over the summer after a random Twitter exchange. And they’re fast becoming as inseparable as Lindsey Lohan and her court appearances...." 
Rehab, The Daily Star.

Alex Comfort: Stop Calling Me Dr Sex

Few authors are remembered on their own terms; some grow to hate the books for which they are most admired. There can be few whose life and work has suffered such a total eclipse as that experienced by Comfort. If he is recalled today, it is in association with that perennial 99p introductory offer on the back of the Sunday supplement, and that line-drawing of the couple with the straggly Woodstock hair. The true nature of The Joy of Sex, though, was one that few noticed at the time and few have remarked on since. It was a book about personal responsibility and freedom from convention; a book founded on the idea that political and erotic repression shared a common pathology. The Joy of Sex was the anarchist manifesto that conquered 1970s suburbia – a radical text that found a place on the shelves of millions of readers who didn't know Kropotkin from Kermit the Frog...

Matthew Sweet on Alex Comfort in The Guardian Review.

Sweet's documentary about Comfort, Stop Calling Me Dr Sex, is on BBC Radio 3 tomorrow at 7.45pm.
Some of the late anarchist dude's books that weren't The Joy Of Sex - which is what the programme is kinda about - are available to read online here.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Savilegate: I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher

What a pity Sir Jimmy isn't around today to pay Mrs Thatcher one of his special "hospital visits" pon this Christmastime.

The Guardian: Shit Gay Cartoon

The Guardian has in their employ the two best political cartoonists in the country; Steve Bell and Martin Rowson.
But like all of us, these talented chaps need to take the occasional break from their inspired and bilious drawing.
Sometimes Rowson and Bell are on leave at the same time - usually for a week over the summer and during the festive season.
The Guardian's solution is to have a different up-and-coming guest cartoonist each day.
These are almost always execrable, unfit to grace the pages of a school magazine.
Today is the turn of someone called Anna Trench. 
Brave Anna hasn't let the little fact that she can't draw for toffee daunt her, hell no!
Nor has her obvious lack of wit.
It took me a while to figure out quite what was going on in the kindergarten-esque finger painting above, but I think she's making a - perfectly valid, though over-simplified to the point of stupidity - point that Cameron's "compassionate" support for gay marriage may merely be a sideshow to distract from the Conservative's callous cuts and the dire state of the economy.
For reasons perhaps only knowable to herself, Trench has portrayed some leading Tories as Thunderbirds puppets - as if the recent death of Gerry Anderson somehow renders this "topical" - while waving a rainbow flag.
But - and here is the punchline - "equality" comes "with strings attached".
A lesser cartoonist might have let the cartoon speak for itself.
Not Ann - who has literally spelled out this "gag" at the bottom of the frame.
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

PS Variations on gay marriage polls have been a very popular page filler over Christmas.
Here's one from The Independent; "A survey of more than 2,500 Conservative Party members for The Independent found that a huge majority reject his arguments for legalising same-sex marriage.
"The findings come amid renewed speculation among some Tory MPs that Mr Cameron could face a leadership challenge before the next general election. His critics fear that the UK Independence Party will exploit the opposition to gay marriage among natural Conservative supporters..."
A ridiculous claim, but sadly typical of the Independent's clueless coverage of gay issues.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Guardian: Gay Couple Beheaded In Bizarre Ritual

A gay couple were found beheaded in The Guardian this morning, Fagburn can reveal.
It is thought the men were victims of a strange and secret craze in the UK media which refuses to illustrate stories about gay marriage with photos that show gay men's faces.
The practice has become so widespread it now has a medical name; cake-topperitis, and is based on an outdated belief that all gay men are in the closet or ashamed of being gay.
It is thought to be related to a similar condition, known for decades, that results in the national press invariably illustrating gay pride events with pictures of gay men "in drag" [disguise].
A source at The Guardian told Fagburn; "They must have asked the photo library for a photo of a gay couple, presuming they'd get one of the usual ones that only shows two mens' hands, but when they got a photo actually showing a real gay couple at a civil partnership ceremony they must have gone into some kind of bat shit crazy blind rage and decided to cut off their heads."
The Guardian's Readers' Editor is unavailable for comment until the new year.

PS The photo above was used by The Guardian online to illustrate the story; Three In Five Voters Back Gay Marriage, New Poll Shows. See below.

Marriage: New Poll, New Graphic, New You!

The ICM poll conducted just before Christmas found 62% of voters now support the proposals, with half this number – 31% – opposed. Most previous polls have found opinion leaning the same way, although the two-to-one margin revealed on Wednesday is particularly emphatic. AnICM online survey for the Sunday Telegraph in March asked the identical question – which expressly reminds people that the option of civil partnerships already exists for gay couples – and established a 45%-36% lead for the reformers.

Although Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters remain more likely to support gay marriage, with respective majorities of 67% and 71%, there is now also a majority among Conservative supporters. Among those who voted Tory in 2010, gay marriage now enjoys 52%-42% backing, a big turnaround from ICM's survey in March, which recorded 50%-35% opposition from 2010 Conservative voters.

Both men and women support gay marriage, although the majority is bigger among female voters, 65% of whom support gay marriage, compared with 58% of men. Gay marriage is backed by 60%+ majorities across every nation and region, the 74% majority recorded in Wales being the most emphatic. There is a pro-gay-marriage majority, too, in every social class – although the majority is somewhat smaller in the DE class, which contains the lowest occupational grades. Fifty-one per cent of this group is in favour of the change, as opposed to 68% in the C1 clerical grade, which emerges as the most enthusiastic.

Sharper differences emerge when the results are analysed across the age ranges. The over-65s resist the proposal, by 58% to 37%, but support is progressively stronger in younger age groups. The pro-reform majority is 64% among 35-64s, 75% among 25-34s, and an overwhelming 77% among 18-24s...

The Guardian.

Sneakily inserting this below the post above as it deserves more prominence, obvs.
And we are a blog of record.
I'm taking this as read as I want to believe it.
File under: 'So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.'

Letter To The Editor: Queer Theory

In his hilarious interview with Decca Aikenhead (22 December), Tory MP David Davies advances the "erasure" theory of homosexuality, akin to similar theories such as the "Sound of Music" and "Judy Garland'. This may be extended to a wider range of tastes than music. For example, when, a few years ago, I owned a large and aggressive poodle, I and my partner were often accosted – in a perfectly friendly way – by individuals who would regale us with jokes about poodles suggestive of effeminacy.

I had a less warm encounter with a gent in blazer and grey flannels in a newsagent's in a Suffolk village. When I wandered in (with dog) to buy a Sunday paper the gentleman recoiled, gasping, "Is that a homosexual dog?" By contrast, a theatre director friend told me how when he and his boyfriend were mincing (his word) down the street accompanied by their pitbull (or it might have been a staffie, I forget which), burly lorry drivers would lean out of their cabs, thumbs up, with a "Great dog, mate!". Clearly, in consumer society, we really are what we buy.
Elizabeth Wilson

I think this letter in The Guardian has been buggered by a sub after one too many Christmas sherries.
The correspondent surely meant "Erasure theory" - capital E, after the electropop group - and not the more high-falutin' and po-mo sounding "erasure theory".
Mr Davies was quoted as saying;

"Can I say something else as well?" he adds. "It may or may not be relevant." When Davies was 16, a popular school friend had announced he was gay. Davies ran into him again at 19, "And it turned out the guy had got engaged. To a woman! And he absolutely didn't want to talk about what had gone on between the age of 16 and 19. He'd started coming down to the pub at 16 with, you know, splits in his jeans, and started buying Erasure albums, and all the rest of it – and three years later he's suddenly horrified by the whole thing!"

Oh dear.
People like this are now running the country, guys and gals.
Oh, and this letter is presumably by the noted Marxist feminist queer academic, Elizabeth Wilson, whose partner is Angela Mason, of both Angry Brigade and Stonewall fame.

Censorship: Down With This Sort Of Non-Existent Thing!

More people have been complaining about a film portraying Jesus and his disciples as gay men - even though it does not exist.
The British Board Of Film Classification said there were ongoing rumours that a movie version had been made of a controversial play called Corpus Christi.
The play, by Terrence McNally, is set in tbe modern-day United States and deals with issues including gay marriage - but has never been made into a film.
BBFC senior examiner Craig Lapper said: "I think it was a bit of an internet hoax several years ago, suggesting a film was being made of the play in which Jesus and his disciples were portrayed as homosexuals.
"I can remember replying to people concerned about this blasphemous film back in the late 1990s.
"This year again, for whatever reason, there was another spike in people writing to us to insist that we ban this terrible, blasphemous film.
"We just had to write back and say 'This film doesn't exist'."
The BBFC received six complaints about it in 2011 and another two queries this year, with complainants often asking the board to ban the film on the grounds it is blasphemous and offensive.

Yahoo News - and picked up everywhere.

So you see it's not just gay wet liberals who get caught up in pointless clicktivist internet-inspired bogus campaigns about nothing?
(I can't find an original source for these quotes, but guess they must have some connection to the latest BBFC annual report, which is not yet available on their website.

Gareth Williams: Case Closed

To the Telegraph - always the go-to paper for delightfully detailed and lurid reporting of coroners' reports, autopsies, murders and the like.
Today we learn; "MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams probably locked himself into the sports bag where his naked body was found and was not the victim of a hit by the security services, Scotland Yard has found after conducting a review of the case."
Mind = blown!
So who's been advancing loads of loopy conspiracy theories and zombie rumours (the ones that refuse to die) ever since poor Gareth was found dead in August 2010?
Only every single sodding newspaper in the UK.
And which maverick lone wolf has consistently - nay manfully - said these all sounded like a load of balls and doggedly pursued the truth, like some modern day Woodward and Bernstein.
Only Fagburn!
It seemed pretty clear that Gareth Williams was, ahem, "enjoying himself in an unusual way" and that no-one else was involved.
Let's call it Onan's Law - a single man living alone will find ever more inventive ways of getting his rocks off.
I know I keep saying this, but it would save so much time if everyone just listened to me in the first place.
Good day.

Update: Then rather bafflingly the Sunday Telegraph came up with some more zombie rumours linking Gareth to some Kazakh oligarch. Oh crap. Where will it end?

Mirror: News Drought Misery May Last Til New Year

The Daily Mirror reports that George Michael - that's "the ex-Wham! star", incidentally - has sent a tweet!
I'll type that again and give it some more time to sink in.
George Michael has sent a tweet!!!
Fagburn thinks this is so fucking important it's worth quoting in full.

“Hey everyone. Belated Happy Xmas. Sorry you haven’t heard from your favourite singing greek for so long. You needn’t worry, I’m doing great. Feeling so much better than I was. Must get back to my party, but looking forward to a great 2013, I promise it will be full of great new music, huge Xmas hug to you all.”

Actually, I think this must have been two tweets, but I think you'll agree it's pretty damned exciting whatever, yes?
Or, as Yog might say/sing; "I think it's amazing!"

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Gerry Anderson: 1929-2012

Thanks for Captain Scarlet and Joe 90.
And thanks for Lady Penelope.
Supermarionation was F.A.B.
Thanks, Gerry.

PS I think Captain Scarlet was my first celebrity crush, which is a bit weird thinking about it.

Pink News: All Of We Loves All Of You?

A series of polls for has found that the popularity of the Conservative Party has grown since the general election, with David Cameron now a more popular choice to be prime minister than Ed Miliband. Most LGBT people said that by proposing same-sex marriage, David Cameron has positively altered their opinion towards the Conservative Party. Support for the Liberal Democrats has sunk, reflecting national opinion polls...

At the last general election in 2010, 39% of the PinkNews panel who voted in the most recent poll said that they voted for the Liberal Democrats, 27% for the Labour Party and 11% for the Conservatives. The Greens had 6%, SNP 1.6% and 0.5% Plaid Cymru. If there was a general election tomorrow, 38% said they would vote for Labour, 30% for the Conservatives, 13% for the Liberal Democrats, 9% for the Green Party, 2.4% for the SNP, 0.6% for Plaid Cymru and 0.69% for UKIP. In the self selecting poll, 42% said they would vote for Labour, 30% Conservative, 10% Liberal Democrat and 10% Green...

Pink News.

Pink News do make it clear that this is taken from a "self selected" panel online - so I'm not really sure it reflects the voting intentions of "the LGBT community", anymore than a poll of Mail Online readers could be said to represent the general population's.
And if the readers' comments are anything to go by Pink News does seem to attract rather a lot of scarily right-wing fruitloops.

PS As I've been so critical of them in the past, I'd like to say again how much Pink News has improved since the departure of J****** G***. Fans of frighteningly piss-poor and - quite frankly - embarrassing gay "journalism" should now read Gay Star News.

Update: This was picked up - unchallenged - by among others The Guardian.
The only piece I've seen which didn't just take this survey at face-value, and questioned its methodology and what conclusions can be drawn, was by Tom Chivers in a Daily Telegraph blog; Has Dave won the gay vote? Maybe, maybe not?
I think this was a pretty objective piece incidentally, and was not related to the Telegraph's otherwise anti-gay marriage agenda.,

Ann Widdecombe: Disturbing

THERE is a disturbing echo in the debate over redefining marriage of the back-to-basics campaign in the Nineties whereby anybody who had ever erred but who defended traditional morality had their private lives exposed even if the events had occurred years earlier. It is bad enough for a gay MP to be subject to death threats because he has come out against Cameron’s proposals* but at least that is easy to dismiss as extreme.

It is different when a married MP, who says in an interview that he believes the current definition of marriage sacrosanct, finds he is then the subject of a two-page spread of recollections in a newspaper, by an ex-mistress whose affair with him ended 12 years ago.

The signal being sent is that anyone who dares speak out will be pilloried with any past indiscretion.

The logic of this is faulty. For example does it mean that anybody who has ever broken the speed limit cannot take a view about road safety?

If a Christian breaks a commandment is he any less a Christian? Do I have to be married in order to defend my view that married couples should have special tax reliefs?

Is an adulterer who chooses to stay with his wife rather than his mistress and is thereafter faithful not an upholder rather than destroyer of marriage?

MPs must be brave in the face of such attacks and defend a definition of marriage that has survived for millennia and is common across the globe.

Ann Widdecombe - Fagburn's favourite columnist - in the Daily Express.

She writes of one Bob Blackman MP, who was outed by his ex-mistress in the Daily Mail on Saturday; Sanctity of marriage? After eleven years in my bed, he's one to talk.
To which the only response has to be; "Ha ha!"
Ms Widdecombe may take a pick 'n' mix approach to the teachings of the Bible, but Fagburn for one does not. 
The good book is quite clear about this, and I'm afraid your good friend Mr Blackman must be put to death forthwith [Deuteronomy 22:22].

* Yeah, that really happened, didn't it Ann? 

Marriage: Abnormal Service Has Been Resumed

What a strange subject for a leading Christian to speak about in his sermon on Christmas Day - the time of goodwill to all men.
Except poofs, obviously.

Technically though this quote from an interview with ITN, which most media seized on is, of course, true; "Frankly, the process is shambolic. There was no announcement in any party manifesto; there's been no green paper; there's been no statement in the Queen's speech. And yet here we are on the verge of primary legislation. From a democratic point of view, it's a shambles."
Perhaps next year we will finally find out how and why this policy suddenly appeared from nowhere to become such a Tory totem?

PS "By a margin of 2-1, people oppose the Government's proposal to make it illegal for the Church of England to conduct gay marriages. Asked whether its vicars should be allowed to perform such ceremonies if they wanted to, 62 per cent of people said they should and 31 per cent disagreed, with seven per cent replying "don't know".' The Independent.
The Indy also ran an editorial criticising the Archbishop of Westminster's unchristmassy message.

Richard Rodney Bennett: 1936-2012

Composer and musician. 

Letter Of The Week: Dear God

Eight-year-old Grace asked an intelligent and penetrating question (Ask a grown-up: If God created everything, who created God?, Weekend, 22 December), to which she received a trite and one-sided reply. There was no attempt to explain why, if the universe was created by a loving God, he felt the need to create the Ebola virus, or polio, or intestinal parasites. And is Dr Fraser unaware of what is going on in Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine and parts of Africa, or does he choose to simply ignore them? And what are the leaders of his religion doing while all these atrocities continue? Debating how many gay, female bishops can dance on the head of a pin. The kindest thing you can say about God is that he doesn't exist; if he did he would almost certainly be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

Dick Hadfield
Ludlow, Shropshire.

The Guardian.

Being a wild and crazy guy, I spent yesterday evening reading Bertrand Russell's essay, An Outline Of Intellectual Rubbish - a hilarious demolition job of Christian lunacy and dogma.

Man is a rational animal - so at least I have been told. Throughout a long life, I have looked Man diligently for evidence in favor of this statement, but so far I have not had the good fortune to come across it, though I have searched in many countries spread over three continents. On the contrary, I have seen the world plunging continually further into madness. I have seen great nations, formerly leaders of civilization, led astray by preachers of bombastic nonsense. I have seen cruelty, persecution, and superstition increasing by leaps and bounds, until we have almost reached the point where praise of rationality is held to mark a man as an old fogey regrettably surviving from a bygone age. All this is depressing, but gloom is a useless emotion. In order to escape from it, I have been driven to study the past with more attention than I had formerly given to it, and have found, as Erasmus found, that folly is perennial and yet the human race has survived. The follies of our own times are easier to bear when they are seen against the background of past follies. In what follows I shall mix the sillinesses of our day with those of former centuries. Perhaps the result may help in seeing our own times in perspective, and as not much worse than other ages that our ancestors lived through without ultimate disaster...

Monday, 24 December 2012

Fagburn: Apropos Of Nothing

Only posted this as having that stupid bishop at the top of the page was annoying me...

Xmas Thought For The Day: The Bishop Of Shrewsbury

Past generations have gathered in this cathedral on Christmas night amid many shadows which seemed to obscure the future for them.
We think of the ideologies of the past century, Communism and Nazism, which in living memory threatened to shape and distort the whole future of humanity.
These inhuman ideologies would each challenge in the name of progress the received Christian understanding of the sanctity of human life and the family. Winston Churchill, Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, a man without clear, religious belief, saw in this deadly struggle nothing less than the defence of Christian civilisation.

Few of our political leaders today appear to glimpse the deeper issues when the sanctity of human life and the very identity of marriage, the foundation of the family, are threatened.
This Christmas we are also conscious of new shadows cast by a Government that was pledged at its election to support the institution of marriage.
The Prime Minister has decided without mandate, without any serious consideration, to redefine the identity of marriage itself, the foundation of the family for all generations to come.
 This is again done in the name of progress. The British people have reason to ask on this night where is such progress leading?

That's lovely, thank you.
I normally ignore most of the nutty anti-gay relgious vomit like this, but what's noteworthy about this sermon - spoiler alert! - to be delivered tomorrow is that the bishop is so proud of it he appears to have press released the Daily Mail.
Not sure Hitler and Stalin would have been that big on gay marriage, though.
This Christmastime, let us pray for an end to religion.

Alan Turing: Rewriting History

SIR – There are a number of reasons why a free pardon for Alan Turing (Letters, December 18) is misconceived. That he was properly convicted of what was a crime at the time is the least compelling of them.

First, a pardon does not extinguish a conviction but merely cancels its pains and penalties. Posthumous pardons have been granted in recent years, but as a matter of law a posthumous pardon makes no sense.

Secondly, the conviction for what is no longer an offence and, in respect of conduct, today attracts no opprobrium cannot possibly be said to damage Turing’s reputation. Your correspondents say: “It is time his reputation was unblemished.” It is unblemished.

Thirdly, it would be quite wrong to pardon one person, however distinguished, and leave undisturbed the convictions of the many others also convicted. In the case of those convicted of cowardice at courts-martial during the First World War, an Act of Parliament pardoned all those convicted without naming them.

Finally, Turing’s conviction strikingly illustrates the law’s grotesque past criminalisation of consensual homosexual conduct and its terrible consequences. History should not be rewritten but allowed to speak of the misuse of the criminal sanction, the intolerance and cruelty of earlier times and the evolution in cultural and moral norms.

Professor Graham Zellick QC
Wothorpe, Cambridgeshire

Daily Telegraph.

Couldn't agree more.
It's estimated around 16,000 men were convicted of now legal homosexual acts - it is insulting to argue Turing deserves special treatment because he was a genius and/or for his role in the war.
Oh gawd, I've agreed with a letter in the Telegraph.
It's all downhill from here...

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Sunday Times: Poll!

People support gay marriage by 56% to 36% who are opposed, pretty typical of our previous polling on the subject. There are the same demographic patterns that we've seen in other polling on the subject - women are more supportive of gay marriage than men, and young people are MUCH more supportive than over 60s. Asked if David Cameron should continue with the proposed changes in the face of opposition from some Conservative MPs the figures were very similar - 51% think he should continue regardless, 36% think he should abandon the policy.
There is very little perception that supporting gay marriage will help the Conservatives electorally. Only 9% think it will help them, 17% damage them, 66% think it will make no difference (needless to say, people's perception of whether it will help or hurt the Conservatives is not necessarily the same as whether it will. Polling on how policies directly affect voting intention is extremely dubious, but what there is suggests it is very much a case of swings and roundabouts - they lose about the same as they gain).
Asked how they would react to their own son or daughter being gay, 63% of people say they would be very or fairly comfortable with it. 17% say they would be fairly uncomfortable, 8% very uncomfortable. 

The Times.

Fagburn Awards 2012: Books Of The Year

1. Born This Way: Real Stories Of Growing Up Gay - Paul Vitagliano.
2. Hopes And Prospects/Occupy - Noam Chomsky.
3. My Story - Tom Daley.
4. The Passion Of Bradley Manning - Chase Madar.
5. Drugs: Without The Hot Air - David Nutt.

Regular viewers may know I mainly read smelly old books from charity shops.
My Special Award For The Best Old Book I Bought In A Charity Shop This Year goes to...
The Age Of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard To Be Happy - Michael Foley.

Fagburn Awards 2012: Albums Of The Year

1. Go-Kart Mozart - On The Hot Dog Streets.
2. Dexys - One Day I'm Going To Soar.
3. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball.
4. Tracey Thorn - Tinsel And Lights.
5. Hunx - Hairdresser Blues.
6. Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas.
7. David Byrne & St Vincent - Love This Giant.
8. Country Soul Sisters: Women In Country Music 1952-1978 - Various Artists. 
9. The Magnetic Fields - Love At The Bottom Of The Sea.
10. Brian Eno - Lux.

Special award for the most over-rated album and most patronised artist: Frank "So Brave" Ocean - Channel Orange.

PS Thought I'd follow everyone else's lead and make up for the lack of news and stuff by padding things out with some pointless lists.

Fagburn: Yet Another Apology

A quick perusal of today's papers reveals there is bum-all in them, apart from the usual grinning fools and lying assholes.
To save me wanting to punch a horse, I'll love you and leave you.*

* Probably only til tea-time. In between I'll just grind my teeth, read some books I don't actually understand and listen to Suicide (That's the name of a rocking band, mum, don't worry. I'll see you tomorrow, obvs).

Marriage: World United In Apathy

No one really gives two hoots about gay marriage - they're certainly not going to choose how to vote in a general election over this silly sideshow.
Again, can we move on now, please?
Thanks, Looney Tunes.

Royal News: And You, You Could Be Queen

Mail On Sunday.

Next up, Tom Daley's new girlfriend.
[Coughs theatrically, tries not to die laughing].

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Fagburn: A Christmas Wish

I hope every boy, who has something inside him screaming to get out, knows how much people love him.

PS I know this is old, I know it's Gaga - but it cracks me up, so shut the fuck up.

PPS No idea why it says he "wows all the girls". They look rather bored. But obviously cause he was 13 when this was recorded we can't suggest he's a screaming gay lord. I hate this world so much. 

Joe Strummer: 1952-2002

I cried when Joe Strummer died.
He taught me how to learn everything I know.
I was only ten, then.
Just read and listen, again

PS Hidden message in The Clash: First have great hair, then we'll shoot the bastards afterwards.

David Davies MP: Diversity Training

Tory MP David Davies recently caused outrage when he suggested that parents wanted their children to be heterosexual and that plans to legalise gay marriage were 'barking mad'.
Now the politician has attempted to defend his comments by saying that he has not 'done years of diversity training'...
Mr Davies, who also serves as a special constable, said that his friends would once never have been 'seen dead' with a Boy George CD but said he now owns the singer's Greatest Hits CD, adding: 'I love it!'

Daily Mail

PS Apropos of nothing, votes in Fagburn's annual poll; 'Homophobic right-wing politician most likely to be found with a cock in his gob' are now closed.

The small quotes above come from a great 'Give 'em enough rope' profile in The Guardian by Decca Aitkenhead. 
Respec' due!

Fagburn: Free Xmas TV Guide!

Don't watch it.
Do what you want, I don't care.
Whatever makes you happy.
I've taken every drug going, but this is the only one I thought was really wasting my time and rotting my brain.

The Sun: Misery As Xmas News Drought Moves Into Its Third Day

The Sun.

Ring ring. Ring ring...
"Hello 0846 438 5544?"
"Hello, is that The Sun Scandal Hotline?"
"Hello, my name's Julian and I have quite a story to tell - or should I say sell!"
"Okay, who is it about, please?"
"You know that gay fella who's been hanging round with Jordan?"
"Oh, come on you've been running with this one for days."
"Sorry, I'd completely forgotten about him. And your story is?"
"Yes, I think everyone had guessed that."
"I talked to her on Skype."
"How very interesting. We may need some more details."
"Am I getting paid for this?"
"Yes. Do go on..."
"She showed me her muscles!"
"Is that it?"
"Pretty much, yeah."
"How much do I get?"
"For completely inconsequential non-stories like this we pay £40."
"FAB! Can I have it in Boot's gift vouchers, only I need to stock up on Fake Bake for Christmas."

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Week: Gay Marriage In Brief

Blame Tony Blair, said the Daily Mail. He said the Tories were out of touch. So Cameron tried to detoxify their image. Gay marriage is Blair's "dire legacy".
Mind you, most people support gay marriage now, said the Mail On Sunday. Whole thing's a mess, though. Everyone's upset.
It's a "culture war", said the Daily Telegraph. They have them in the US. Clegg called opponents "bigots". Bigots leave the Tories.
There's an easy solution, said the Sunday Times. Cut religion out of marriage altogether. Simples.

The Week.

PS I'd like to think the cover suggested the imminent death of the gay cake-topper as a way of illustrating stories about equal marriage, but guess how they illustated the story inside...

The Pope: Entire World Does Not Believe They're Hearing This

The world was literally rocked to its foundations today after Pope Benedict XVI said something stupid and homophobic.
Previously well-known for his progressive and liberal views on The Gays, and as leader of the world's largest LGBT advocacy organisation, the Catholic Church, one Twitter tweeted; "WTF? The Pope is anti-gay!?? NFW! Mind = blown!"
During his annual Christmas address - and speaking in the official ancient Vatican language of Gobbledygook Nonsensus Longwindus - His Holiness said;

"People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man."

Catholic commentators were united in saying that, although they had absolutely no idea what any of this actually meant, they really, really hoped it wasn't something medieval, bigoted and hateful.
The Pope - who, as a former member of Hitler Youth and for covering up the biggest child abuse scandal of all-time, is widely acknowledged as a moral compass to the world - was unavailable for comment. 

Full text of his Christmas address here. Admittedly it contains some good jokes about the Olympics, Xmas TV viewing tips and some baking dos and don'ts.

Tracey Thorn: Tinsel And Lights

If like me, and all sensible people, you love Christmas songs and Tracey Thorn's voice, I heartily recommend this album.
Three new songs and nine (mainly unexpected*) covers - and the little baby Jesus isn't even mentioned once.
It's about memories and dreams, family and friends, and the sense of reflection that comes at the end of each year; all of which are what Christmas is really about.
Anyway, whatever - this is a sublime record.

PS I know it was actually released weeks ago, so don't write in, but quite frankly you'd have to be some kind of complete mentalist to listen to Christmas songs before it's Christmas.

PPS Thinking about it, great Christmas songs are never about Christ are they**, they're about Christmas, just like this is.

* Includes songs by some talentless loser dudes like Stephin Merritt and Randy Newman. Stephin gave his song, Like A Snowman, to Kiki & Herb, and I have to confess I'd never heard it before.

** Apart from the mighty Christer festive canon of Sir Cliff of Richard, obvs.

Here is the video for the single Joy. Enjoy!

Jesus: My Two Dads*

A gay couple has sparked outrage for displaying a “homosexual nativity scene” in their Colombian home.
Andrés Vásquez and Felipe Cárdenas have come under fire for their all-male manger - where the baby Jesus has two father Josephs and the Virgin Mary is nowhere to be seen.
The country's Catholic Church has labeled the display, in the northern city of Cartagena, as “sacrilege.”
And thousands of Colombians have taken to social networking sites to slam the pair, with many saying they show “a lack of respect to God and all Christians.”
A Facebook user added, “As much as I support gay rights, this is just stupid on so many levels. If you are a Catholic you have to accept Jesus' parents were Mary and Joseph..."

New York Daily News.

* Errr, wasn't that God bloke meant to be Jesus's father?
Whatever, the whole nativity story is so sick and perverse let's move on swiftly in case any children are reading this.

Ian McKellen: And This Week's Award For The Most Fawning Interview With Sir Ian Goes To...

‘When I came out, I told my stepmother Gladys, and she just said she had known for years and was glad I wasn’t lying any more. Before that, I presumed it would be bad for my career.

‘In the Fifties and Sixties, the life of a gay man was a secret. Homosexuality was illegal, so you didn’t draw attention to yourself. But coming out is the best thing I ever did and I’ve never met a gay person who didn’t think the same.

‘Even now there are young actors who want careers as romantic leading men and the best thing is not to reveal you’re gay. I suppose I used to wonder if I’d be allowed to play Romeo if I came out.

‘Eventually, I thought if you compromise to the extent of lying about yourself, is there any job in the world that’s worth that? I don’t think there is. It’s still a sensitive issue in Hollywood, though.’

From a positively gushing profile in the Daily Mail.
Mind you, somehow they forgot to ask Serena about the gaymarriage.
Oh, and apparently she's got a film out...

The Sun: Britain Still Gripped By Terrifying Xmas News Drought

The Sun.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Newsround: 1972-2012


Big Hard Excellent Fish: The Imperfect List

Apropos of nothing, bar someone just reminded me of it.
A stunning, chilling non-hit from back in the day when we all hated Thatch.

Australia: U R GAY! LOLZ!!!

If Australia were a car it would look something like this
I mean "gay", of course, in the offensive, playground, politically incorrect sense of the word. As in: "Your Dad's car is totally gay." Or: "That shark was so gay he didn't even manage to take your whole leg off." This is the kind of usage that would you have you arrested in Australia these days, such is the gag-making political correctness of the land they once called the Lucky Country but which now ought more properly to be named the Haringey of the Southern Hemisphere.
When I tell this to people who've never been to Oz they are usually surprised. Australia, they imagine, is a rugged, no-nonsense place where the men all look a bit like Crocodile Dundee (or, at least, the late Steve Irwin), and where their idea of a chat-up line to the Sheilas on Bondi beach is "Hey Sheila. Do you want a ****?" (to which they'll add, if Sheila is reluctant: "Well would you mind just lying there while I have one?")
But it's just not true. Australia handed in its testicles to the progressives long ago...

Somewhat bafflingly, James Delingpole, manages to use this dodgy and nasty intro to write a loopy Telegraph blog championing climate change denial.
Err, well done, mate. Bonzer!

Panto: Nothing Like A Dame

‘I’m not the butchest thing on two legs. My idea of a dame is not in any way effeminate. I don’t like the people who do that. I don’t like the gross makeup. I think it’s clownish. And I think clowns frighten children anyway.
“I’m a man dressed as a woman who you think doesn’t really want to be dressed as a woman.
“The thing with the dame is you’ve got to make everybody in the audience comfortable. In fact it’s not the children who would be embarrassed by a dame if he was effeminate or wore really wonderful Danny La Rue-type costumes. It’s the men. They would feel uncomfortable.” 

Berwick Kaler, "Britain's longest-serving dame", in a Telegraph article on the history of the pantomime dame.
Michael Grade's History Of The Pantomime Dame is on BBC Four tonight. Warning: Contains scenes of Mr Grade being turned into a dame.

The Sun: Terrifying Xmas News Drought Hits Britain

The Sun.

"Busty glamour model" Katie Price has been seen canoodling at a Chrimas Party with a bit-part actor who's been in EastEnders three times and has done some soft porn.
Got that?
Oh, and taking your knickers off in a video isn't quite the same as being a "gay icon", love.
Times like this make me really hope the Mayans were right and the world does end tomorrow.

PS Louis Smith - of Olympics and strictly fame - is also labouring under the misapprehension that he's a "gay icon" - which has clearly become a thoroughly meaningless term.
Whoever next?
Keith Harris? Orville? Clarkson?!!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012