Sunday, 31 August 2014

Joe Orton: Baby Lotion

You’d be sorely mistaken if you presumed that because something is written in private, it represents the man as he truly is. All writing is a performance, whether the audience is large or a lone reader. Letters are written for the purpose of being read by a recipient: a reflection of how the poet wishes to be understood by that single reader and, as such, prone to flattery, exaggeration and lies.

Historians and biographers should be equally mistrusting of diaries. Some diaries are a place where writers wallow in sentiment or kick around ugly ideas. Others are written for eventual publication and so are about as trustworthy as a Lib Dem manifesto. The diaries of Joe Orton, the playwright, for example, are a self-serving (and frankly boring) series of sexual adventures that cast him as an adolescent Priapus. In reality, people who met him saw a thirtysomething, giggling oddity who rubbed baby lotion into his face to make it shine.

Timmy is such a posh silly-billy he is literally incapable of judging either Larkin or Orton. 

And I don't think Joe regularly put baby lotion on his face, and if he did if was just a bit of zooshing up for the cameras.

A bit like Mr Stanley's heavily Photoshopped pic here

Pride: Support

"You have worn our badge, Coal Not Dole, and you know what harassment means, as we do. Now we will pin your badge on us, we will support you. It won't change overnight, but now 140,000 miners know that there are other causes and other problems. We know about blacks and gays and nuclear disarmament and we will never be the same."

Dai Donovan, then a striking South Wales miner, addressing the Pits & Perverts benefit concert organised by Lesbians And Gays Support The Miners in 1985.

He is featured in an Observer article inspired by the film Pride, that also has interviews with Jonathan Blake and Mike Jackson from LGSM, and Siân James from the Miners' Wives' Support Group (she's now a Labour MP).

Strange how some other media think that what people who acted in the film think about LGSM and the miners' strike is more important, insightful and interesting.

The four people above all think the film Pride has - hey! - done everyone who was involved proud.

Fagburn still thinks it's notable how the movie is getting raved about in the usually union-bashing and gaybashing right-wing press - the biggest quote on the poster is the Daily Mail calling it 'Indescribably wonderful!' - and by gay journalists with the politics of a wobbly pink blancmange.

The Sunday Times has a feature, Stephen Beresford: How I turned the miners' strike into a gay comedy.

That title alone surely speaks volumes - maybe the appeal of Pride (the movie) is that it's coal dust and dirt, blood, sweat and tears, dipped in some fabulous gay glitter?

PS And here's a video made by LGSM in 1985, Dancing In Dulais.

Gareth Thomas: Proud

In a frank interview with the Times Magazine, the former British Lions and Wales skipper, who is set to release his second memoir, Proud, later this month, opened up about the years of torment he felt while lying to his loyal wife Jemma, the lengths he went to to keep his sexuality a secret, and how he his now finally content as an openly gay man.

* Dressed in a WRU-issued suit, he took to the pool of his home in Toulouse, armed with vodka and pills in one of a “handful” of attempts to kill himself on the night devastated Jemma finally left him;

* He fought hard to fight his gay urges after his first sexual encounter while working as a postman in Bridgend as a teenager left him “disgusted”;

* He used away games and fake stag weekends as elaborate cover stories while picking up men in London’s gay scene;

* Diver Tom Daly turned to him before coming out publicly himself;

* He’s now in a settled relationship with “his first and only gay love”, whom he met online.

It’s five years since 40-year-old Thomas – nicknamed Alfie – revealed to an already-suspicious public that he was in fact gay and had been living a lie throughout his decorated career.

The Sunday Mirror gives its lucky readers the thrilling highlights from Gareth's Times' interview.

Thus saving us all the trouble of reading it - and indeed of reading his new book.

Strangely Mr Thomas has stopped talking about the film Mickey Rourke was (not) making about him.

Daily Telegraph.
No, not really. But thanks for asking.

Paul Ross: Shame

BBC star Paul Ross last night confessed to cheating on his wife of ten years in a drug-fuelled gay affair.

Ross, 58, was filmed with his lover. He told The Sun on Sunday: “I’ve done things beyond awful.”

He told how he snorted deadly drug mephedrone up to six times a day during his year-long gay affair.

Dad-of-five Ross, 57, started cheating on wife Jackie with former English teacher Barry Olivier after having sex with him in bushes at a dogging hotspot.

The Sun On Sunday.

The Sun does not out people anymore.

But if a disgruntled ex-boyfriend approaches them with a provable story about a celebrity, they may contact the star and ask them if they have anything to say about it.

PS That journalese headline 'My gay drugs romp shame' is so 70's Sun retro - fittingly.

Why not 'My gay drugs romp FUN'?

Josh Brandon: Fantasy

Josh says he earns anything from a few hundred pounds a week to many thousands. He goes on working trips abroad on which he claims to earn up to £30,000 a month. He differentiates escorts from rent boys, who he says are hustlers. “They milk every penny from their clients.” He knows people who’ve been assaulted but says he never has himself. “I’ve had threats. Like, one guy threatened to slit my throat or whatever. It was over the phone, because I wouldn’t book him. I didn’t trust him when he spoke. The tone of his voice. And there’s the occasional text from some religious nut who’s like, ‘You’re going to burn for all eternity. Cleanse your soul.’ You know they’re fantasising about it. I mean, why are they Googling gay escorts?”

Possibly telling opening line; 'Let’s start with two lies: Josh Brandon is 21. I don’t know what Josh’s real name is, and when his age came up he said, “Let’s say 21.”'

Perfume Genius: Queen

Between bites of his breakfast roll, he tells me the story behind “Queen”.

“I’ll be going about my business and letting my guard down and somebody will call me a ‘faggot’ on the street. All of a sudden your otherness is magnified,” he says. “One time in the [American] South at a gas station I had this group back away from me as I walked through, and in a way it was kind of awesome. It was the first time that I thought maybe this could not be so shameful and bad if I were to be like, ‘Yeah fucking move; I’m coming down the aisle’.”

“So ‘Queen’ is kind of saying that all the things you’re scared about are true and it’s me, so watch out,” he says, laughing. “And it’s also kind of playful and hopefully magnifying how ridiculous that is.”

There was certainly a “gay panic” when Hadreas released his video for “Hood” in 2012. In it he was being held tenderly in the arms of the porn star Arpad Miklos. Despite an absence of nudity, YouTube deemed the clip “not family-safe” and banned it; after widespread objection they eventually overturned their decision.

Perhaps as a result of this prejudice, when it came to writing his latest album some industry figures and friends advised him to “tone it down” to have a better chance of breaking into the mainstream. “They were basically telling me to be less gay,” he states, matter of factly. Against his better judgement, he took on their advice. “I ended up writing more universally but the music was going to be less touching and less moving for everyone who was going to listen to it,” he says. “Even though the songs were good they just didn’t feel important to me and there wasn’t the level of conviction that I like to have with everything I make. And so, I just decided to do whatever I wanted and stop worrying so specifically about how it was going to be received.”

Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius in the Independent On Sunday.

Fagburn still isn't sure if he thinks he's any good or not.

Can I get back to you on this?

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Dan Savage: Conservative

World Net Daily video columnist Molotov Mitchell (yeah we’d never heard of him before this either) has employed some creative logic to come to these conclusions: Dan Savage is worse than the Westboro Baptist Church, and he should fly with the church to Iraq to protest ISIS...


Perhaps only in America could Dan Savage not be seen as conservative.

Where being left or right is defined not by where someone stands on US foreign policy or economics, but on guns, god and gays.

Savage is a 'patriotic' power-serving media whore pushing the American dream - get rich, get married, get kids - to gay men.

Here's his infamous 2002 article Say 'YES' To War On Iraq.

If he believed that right-wing drivel he should have gone to Iraq twelve years ago.

'The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.' Chomsky.

PS Remember Democrat Dan's bonkers boycott of Latvian vodka to protest Russia's anti-gay 'holocaust'? As with Iran and Israel/Palestine, 'gay rights' are invoked to defend Western imperial interests.

Daniel Pierce: Good Grief

The Independent.


Though the video's popularity does make you wonder if some view it like a gay Misery Lit memoir for the YouTube generation.

Or victim porn.

Doctor Who: Lizard

DM Reporter on the Daily Mail's take on the Doctor Who 'lesbian kiss' that technically wasn't a kiss or lesbian or controversial.

Ofcom received twice as many complaints - a massive 13 - about Great British Bake Off's baked alaska Bingate 'scandal'.

PS Richard Littlejohn is his usual clueless self in his Daily Mail column on Tuesday - illustrated with the incredibly witty and clever cartoon below.

Doctor Who in homophobia row over lesbian lizard kiss. There’s a headline you don’t expect to read every day.

Gay rights campaigners
[Eh?] are bouncing up and down with indignation after the BBC removed a scene in which a lesbian lizard woman called Madame Vastra is seen snogging her on-screen ‘wife’.

They were anxious to avoid offending Muslim viewers in the Far East. In Singapore, for instance, programmes ‘promoting’ same-sex relationships are banned. I wonder if the BBC would have scrapped the scene for fear of offending devout Christians in Sittingbourne...

Shouldn’t have thought so for a minute. Offending opponents of gay marriage is probably why they included the scene in the first place.

What puzzles me is why the producers would want to peddle a lesbian storyline in a series aimed primarily at children

Still, there does seem to be a statutory clause at the BBC which demands gay themes in all drama output. For the record, I couldn’t care less. But what does making the lizard lady a lesbian actually add to the show?

I’ve always thought the Doctor was asexual, not that I’ve watched Dr Who since he was played by Patrick Troughton.

No doubt they’re planning to ‘out’ him as a Friend of Dorothy in the next series, the one in which the Daleks turn their talents to soft furnishing and the Cybermen are all revealed to be closet Judy Garland fans.

Vauxhall: Attack

A man has been jailed after he sprayed a substance believed to be ammonia at clubbers in a 'vile' attack.

Jonathan Lynn, of Worcester Park, doused three young homosexual people outside the Lightbox club with the noxious liquid in south London’s “gay district” Vauxhall.

The 31-year-old previously pleaded guilty to seven offences in relation to the two incidents which took place in the area on June 8.

He also admitted splashing the liquid on a fourth man in the group and a female passer-by before he assaulted another man, who was sprayed with the fluid after Lynn stepped on his foot as he waited in a nightclub queue.

Inner London Crown Court heard some of the victims were left with ulcers in their eyes, mouths as well as psychological problems.

Sentencing Lynn to two years and four months, Recorder David Etherington QC said: "I make this clear, this was a vile, violent, cowardly and disgraceful attack by you, but I do not find it was motivated by dislike or hate of people of homosexual orientation." ...

Odd then that the Standard - going on police advice - initially declared it a 'homophobic attack', as did most media. 

It was a reasonable assumption, but just because a gay man gets attacked, it doesn't mean it always has to have been motivated by homophobia.

• Painfully sincere full disclosure: All stories posted from this one to Tuesday September 2nd were written on that day.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Fagburn: I'm Not Here

See you real soon.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Where's Holly?

“We were a bunch of boys, bent on getting pissed and having a laugh. We used to dress [The Lads] up in leather clothes and S&M stuff and they loved it. It was meant to be fun: ‘Let’s drop a little acid and go nuts.’ It was controlled mayhem.”

"We were discovering our sexuality at the same time that the world was. We were at the forefront of that, making sense of gay rights.”

Paul Rutherford, in a Guardian article marking the 30th anniversary - and deluxe re-release - of Frankie's album, Welcome To The Pleasuredome,

Paul Lester, the ghastly journalist who wrote it, also talks to Paul Morley and Trevor Horn. 

But there is no Holly Johnson.

I wonder why...

Rufus Wainwright: The Greatest Love Of All

The Canadian-American singer-songwriter turns out to be a relaxed interviewee who is a master of the efficient one-liner (“What advice would I give to my younger self? Work on your abs”). He positively enjoys talking to groups, playing up to his audience for shock effect, remarking variously that the fad for selfies means that fans’ mobile phones should come with “deodorant sticks”, that he is fortunate not to have a huge gay following because “gay men have terrible taste in music” and that he is grateful to have recently fathered a daughter rather than a son because he would “hate to be attracted” to a son.

What? You can’t say that. I’m not even sure you can think it. “I don’t think it would happen,” he laughs in response, explaining that it’s just that “when I’m old and he is 35 and gorgeous... Well, he would probably look like me. And I would be like, ‘Oh my God! I’m falling in love with myself!’”

Rufus Wainwright is interviewed by The Times.

The joke police won't like this, Rufus!

LGBTory: Eh?

My heads hurtz!!!

PS If you have the misfortune to be at Reading Pride tomorrow, don't forget to sport one of Fagburn's equally witty and ribald stickers; 'HURRY UP AND DIE YOU GAY TORY SCUM!'

BNP Youth: Facist Bastard!

The leader of the BNP youth party has told of his nightmare first year at university – during which he has been constantly abused and even SPAT on because of his views.

Jack Renshaw, 19, joined the right-wing movement when he was just 15 and was elected youth liaison officer earlier this year.

He created a controversial recruitment video for the group which slammed “militant homosexuals” – and even hit out at the mum of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence...

“People know me after the BNP video. I had a lot of trouble when I walked through Manchester, people shouted crap at me.

“It was when I was going about my daily life. People would call me a facist bastard and I’ve been called a Nazi – I always get called that. But I don’t mind."

The teenager – who wants to bring back National Service – claims he has since been spat at while in his home town of Blackpool and abused in Manchester.

But he did admit his first year as a student had forced him to socialise with gay students – even if they did “get on his nerves”.

In an exclusive interview with student newspaper The Tab, he said: “I’m not a big one for meeting new people.

“I’m not a big party person, I don’t really enjoy parties, people I socialise with tend to be people I’ve known for years, I stay in touch with people I’ve known from school and college.

“I had ethnic minority flatmates and some homosexuals, but they weren’t militant homosexuals, they don’t feel the need to make everybody know they’re homosexual.

“I’ve met plenty of homosexuals that I get on with and friends with and reason I get on with them is because they’re normal – militant homosexuality I cannot deal with, it gets on my nerves.' ...

From the news agency

You may recall young Master Jack was having problems with his gay dog last month.

I wonder how long it will be til he comes out?

With thanks to Hope Not Hate - who list what else Renshaw's been doing at university - for the tip-off. x

The Sun: Rage Against The Dying Of The Light

'More like a paraffin lamp in a brothel, than a Sun'

How the Morning Star summed up The Sun after Rupert Murdoch had bought it and revamped it in 1969.

Taken from a fascinating episode of The Reunion where ex-staffers discuss the good/bad old days at the Currant Bun.

All in hilarious; 'Weren't me, guv, honest' mode.

Much on its notorious homophobia in the 80s - though the paper's known homophobes-in-chief, Murdoch and then editor, Kelvin MacKenzie, were sadly unavailable for comment.

• Listen on BBC iPlayer. For more on the sorry, sordid saga of Murdoch's Sun read Peter Chippindale and Chris Horries' Stick It Up Your Punter! - probably the most revealing (and funniest) book ever written about British journalism.

Britney Spears: She Loves Her Homosexual Fans

David LeCours met the Womanizer hitmaker before her concert in Las Vegas last week (ends24Aug14) and he handed her a letter thanking her for helping him come to terms with his sexuality and giving him the courage to tell his family and friends.

On Tuesday (26Aug14), a heartwarming letter of reply, written by Spears, arrived at LeCours' home.

The singer wrote, "I was so happy to receive your letter. I was very happy to hear about how courageous you've been about being openly gay. I've always been told as long as you know in your heart that's what matter most (sic)...

"I try to follow my heart and dreams every day of my life and I think that's why I am where I am today. It means so much to me to have a fan like you who takes the time to sit and write me such a touching letter. Your letter was both touching and sincere. I wish you nothing but the best in the future and hope you keep smiling. Shine bright always, Britney Spears."

LeCours adds on, "I honestly have no words at all....' [Sadly, this proves untrue]... 'I just want to thank you so much for taking the time to write me back and being such an amazing inspiration to me. You mean more than anything to me and it means more than you know for responding to me. Thank you so much, I love you."

That's beautiful, Britney, I'm welling up here...


PS Subs, you're supposed to edit out the notes to subs, btw. 

Hysterical Gay Comment Of The Day: Brangelina

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt got married last weekend at their magical fairy castle in France. Mazel tov! I would hate to deny anyone their happiness and tell them they can’t get married when they’re in love. Oh wait, except that is exactly what the federal government tells countless gay couples every day by refusing to recognize their rights to get married. Angie and Brad spoke out in support of gay marriage many times and even vowed they wouldn’t say their marriage vows until everyone could. Guess what, Mr. and Mrs. Pitt, not everyone can get married, so how good is your promise?

Satire gets bitch-slapped to death.

Wot a twot.

Inane Tweet Of The Day: Pride (The Movie)

How very vacuous.

So why wasn't it Unlabeled People Support The Unlabeled People?

PS This is from a live Q&A at the union-busting Apple Store. Irony!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Донбасс: В Солидарности

Peter Tatchell serves imperialism!*
Queerty serve imperialism!**
Down with AmeriKKKa!
Down with fascism!
Down with NATO!
Down with homonationalism!
Down with queer quislings!
All peoples have the right to self-determination and self-defence!

* In any conflict Saint Peter can always be relied upon to do his bit to help the West's propaganda campaign.
** By running a juvenile homophobic smear story!

How Not To React When Your Child Tells You That He's Gay: Really Awful

Since this video was posted on YouTube on Wednesday it has, as they say, gone viral.
Over 750,000 views now and counting.
Every gay website and blog I've seen today has run it.
It shows an American Christian mom disowning her 19/20 year-old son, Daniel, because he's gay, telling him to move out of their home, and then his dad appears and attacks him.
It originally appeared on Reddit, posted by Rythymnight who says he is Daniel's boyfriend.
It's awful.
Really awful
It's also awful that there have been so many anti-gay horror stories in the gay media recently that have turned out to be hoaxes, I wondered if this one was really real.
I've recorded a dozen of these that have been run as fact and then corrected as fictions, everything from faked 'gaybashings' to teen suicides that never actually happened.
Hard to believe some (gay) people are so sick.
This one does look real, and not staged, but why was the boy filming all of it, why was he filming it in the first place, why don't we see anyone's face, and if his mother says she's known Daniel was gay since he was a little boy why is she only turning against him now?
I feel pretty shitty for being sceptical about this - things like this certainly happen - but can you blame me with the gay media's past record?

Update: The Advocate claim to have been in contact with an aunt of Daniel's who confirms the video's authenticity.

Update 2: And here's Daniel Pierce's Facebook page.

Joe Gauthreaux: Bye Felicia!

What larks!

Cliff/Rotherham: Bad News

So South Yorkshire police did everything it could to stop the Times reporting the Rotherham sex abuse scandal, yet this month the very same force had been "working with a media outlet" to publicise a raid on Cliff Richard's house. What's the lesson from this? That the media is only tolerated if it can help get a celebrity conviction?

The mishandling of the Cliff operation can't even be put down to a rush for justice. It was a full 18 months ago that we remember police sources starting to brief journalists that they had Cliff Richard in their sights. Hacks had even started checking out Heathrow whenever Cliff entered the country, to see if anything was happening. So, it's unlikely this raid was done on a whim.

What started out sounding like over-eager gossip is now looking more like the police's attempt to get the media to help build the case. With the BBC's coverage of the Cliff Richard raid, they may have got their wish. But all they've managed to succeed in doing so far is making us feel bad for a man who released Livin' Doll and lends his house to Tony Blair.

And that's truly unforgivable.

Popbitch, Silly Season Gets Serious - thanks for joining the dots. x

One celebrity scalp is clearly worth more than 1,400 working-class girls.

From the Battle of Orgeave to Hillsborough and now this shitstorm, this gang of crooks called South Yorkshire Police should be locked up.

Sandy Wilson: 1924-2014

He celebrated the success of The Boy Friend by redecorating his kitchen and was seemingly nonchalant about the royalties that rolled in. “I’ve always appreciated a good vodka martini. Now I can afford to buy as many as I can drink.” Within three years of its first performance, the musical had made him so financially secure that he was advised he need never work again. Yet in 1964 Divorce Me Darling!, his sequel to The Boy Friend, received its premiere. It was, however, less triumphant, with the journalist Bernard Levin (who would later join The Times) calling it “relentlessly incomprehensible”.

Wilson, a stocky man often dressed immaculately in Savile Row suits, had an eccentric side. For a time he sported a droopy moustache modelled on one he had seen in a Van Gogh picture “because I thought it went rather well with a hat I had bought”. When not working he would venture abroad or swap recipes among his circle of gastronomic friends (he was a talented cook). A gay man, for decades he enjoyed a bachelor lifestyle but was later joined in his South Kensington flat by a partner, Chak Yui, who survives him.

International News: How Very Interesting

An advert featuring an image of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing has sparked widespread complaint in Kazakhstan.

The poster – which features the two of the region’s most prominent 19th century cultural figures – is designed to promote a gay club in Almaty, one of the most liberal cities in Central Asia. The club, Studio 69, sits at the corner of streets named after Pushkin and Kurmangazy...

A Chilean sailor has announced he is gay in an unprecedented public declaration that he hopes will bring change to the socially conservative South American country.

Mauricio Ruiz, 24, said he made the disclosure to dispel myths that gay people can't be effective members of Chile's armed forces...

The Independent.

August is the height of The Silly Season - that summer time when the amount of real news hits an annual low.

Though you might have noticed there's rather a lot of really awful and important things going on in the world right now (Private Eye have called it The Killy Season).

So how do newspapers pad out their pages? With trivia (Pregnant panda not pregnant), tittle-tattle (Non-entity in CBB meltdown), endless lists (11 Things You Already Knew About Kate Bush), pretending a nothing is 'a thing' (Legroom Rage!), nicking stuff off the internet (6 funniest tweets about #GBBO) etc etc etc...

Alternatively they just run gay-related wire stories, seemingly picked at random, that are of no real interest to their readers.

Poster for gay club in Kazakstahn is controversial!

Gay man in Chile comes out!

One is clearly a bad thing, the other is clearly a good thing.

But whilst I'd love to think this was a sign of how much The Guardian and The Independent want to tell people what's going down in the international LGBT community, it's not.

It's so lazy and patronising it suggests the exact opposite; they don't really care about us. 

Tom Daley: Missing In Action

There were disappointed faces all round when Olympian Tom Daley left Clare Balding high and dry after pulling out of her debut BT Sport chat show last min.

The diver and telly fave, 20, had been booked months in advance as her star guest for the first ever recording of the programme on Tuesday.

The reason for Tom’s absence on The Clare Balding Show, which airs tomorrow, hasn’t been revealed and emails to the youngster’s reps went unanswered.

But it comes after Tom has been enjoying a well earned break in Berlin with boyfriend Dustin Lance Black, 40, after winning a gold and a silver medal at Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games earlier this month.

Tom had been widely advertised as a main attraction and a big draw for potential audience members, but cancelled the appearance last week – rescheduling for October.

Swimmer Chris Mears had to step in as replacement.

Oh Tom, what have you done now?

What could you and Lance have possibly found to distract you in sleepy old Berlin town?

I knew this would happen - you're about to do a full-on Justin 'Good boy gone bad' Bieber, aren't you?

He's led you astray!

It'll probably be heroin next.

Then the leaked sex tape.

There is clearly nothing else for it... 


The ageing svengali casts his evil voodoo spell again!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Daily Star: Ban The Bum

IT'S not just people doing the Ice Bucket Challenge that are chilling themselves for charity - this brave teenager raised hundreds of pounds for charity by stripping naked on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Respect to that paragon of decorum and good taste the Star for pixelating this young man's bum.

On other pages, endless ads for proprietor Richard Desmond's 'adult TV channels'.

Love Is Strange: Stranger Still

Love is Strange is an intermittently wonderful new film about an ageing Manhattan couple who get hitched almost 40 years into their relationship, only for their suddenly straitened circumstances to force them to live apart for the first time. It’s a gentle and perceptive comedy-drama, so it’s rather a shock to find that the US ratings board, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), has given it an R rating.

Short of the dreaded NC-17, which prohibits anyone under that age from seeing a film, this is the severest classification a movie can receive in the US. The R denotes that a picture contains material unsuitable for the under-17s, but stops short of banning that audience. Children can still be accompanied to an R movie by an adult, as I first discovered when I watched the violent horror-comedy Scream 2 in New York accompanied by the sound of a child several rows behind me begging his mother for more Reese’s Pieces.

The MPAA’s ratings website insists that several instances of profanity in Love Is Strange have earned the film its rating. But a likelier reason must be that its main characters are both men. They are played by two seasoned performers, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. These actors are not required to enjoy anything more passionate on screen than a peck on the cheek and a cosy (but fully clothed) cuddle. But it is precisely the undemonstrative normality of their relationship that seems to have inflamed the notoriously prickly and conservative ratings board...

We could at least admire the MPAA’s honesty if it admitted that Love is Strange has been guilty of “excessive normalising of a loving homosexual relationship with no punishment or prolonged unhappiness for either party”. Mainstream cinema has tended to like its gay characters either tormented (Brokeback Mountain), comical (The Birdcage), dead (Milk) or dying (Philadelphia). The couple in Love is Strange fall into none of those categories. Except for an instance of homophobia that forces one of them into unemployment, their sexuality passes without mention. It is only the MPAA that has made it an issue. The BBFC has gone for the slightly softer option of a 15 rating, again because of a few instances of strong language, though this also feels a tad harsh. I don’t recall the air turning blue when I saw Love is Strange at the Berlin Film Festival back in February.

Well, yes and no.

The idea that the MPAA or the BBFC took umbrage at the humdrum normality of the gay relationship in Love Is Strange - ie how closely it approximates to a sexless mundane straight marriage - something argued by several gay journalists, is just plain daft.

An inversion of what is the culturally acceptable invert, if you will.

Conversely, as we've seen with Modern Family, conservatives seem to rather like these de-gayed and rather dull gay men.

Those who desire nothing more than domesticity - which is essentially the plot of Love Is Strange.

Or, as David Cameron famously put it at the 2011 Tory Party Conference; 'I don't support gay marriage despite being a Conservative, I support gay marriage because I'm a Conservative.'

Crying HOMOPHOBIA! here is surely an over-reaction to an over-reaction. 

PS Ryan wrote a hilariously pointless feature in the last Sunday Telegraph about being miffed that he and his boyfriend weren't asked to buy some romantic red roses by a flower-seller while dining in a restaurant at a Croatian holiday resort.

Again, whilst the woman seemingly not considering that they might be a couple could be thought of as a heterosexist assumption, but it's probably pushing it a bit to label it HOMOPHOBIA!

Owen Jones: The Establishment

The Guardian today publish an exclusive extract from our Owen's latest book, The Establishment, about how the political, social and business elites have a stranglehold on the country.

Sounds good, Jonesy. 

Thankfully, it seems Penguin are not going with the original front cover quote from that ridiculous berk Russell Brand, a man with the political acumen of the Chuckle Brothers, who dubbed OJ; 'Our generation's Orwell'!

This is about 

In his weekly Guardian column, Owen writes; 'The confines of acceptable political opinion are narrow and zealously guarded, and those presented as outsiders are actually the establishment in undiluted form.'

How true, Owen, how true...

PS Did 38% of Guardian journalists go to Oxbridge? Were half of leading newspaper journalists privately educated? Press Gazette.

Some people are so childish...

PS Is Ed Miliband protecting and courting Owen Jones? Dan Hodges' Telegraph blog.

Dan - Glenda Jackson's son, incidentally - once famously called Owen 'The Justin Bieber Of The British Left'.

Update: Statistics should provoke Britain's media into prolonged period of self-reflection. They probably won't, since 54% of top 100 media professionals went to private schools, Owen writes in Thursday's Guardian.

Owen neglects to mention that the new Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission's report also says that 47% of newspaper columnists went to Oxbridge.

Manchester Pride: Call For A Public Meeting

So it's come to this...
In 2003, Manchester Pride took over the running of what had been primarily a successful fundraising event for LGBT and HIV/AIDS charities in the Manchester area since the late 1980s.

Manchester is among the most unique of Pride events in that it culminates in a four-day celebration after a month of "Fringe" events.

In recent years though, the focus has moved from a community-led and focused event with an emphasis on fundraising to a more commercial event where charity donations have fallen over the last three years. Indeed this year the ticket cost was stated as contributing towards the delivery of the event with no donation to the Community Fund. LGBT and HIV/AIDS charities have suffered from this decrease in funding from Manchester's primary fundraising event. Charities that benefited in the past from Pride donations have seen increased demands on resources and massive decreases in funding.

There have been concerns at every level about how Manchester Pride is now run - excessive ticket prices, spiralling costs, lack of financial support, right of way issues, disability access issues, lack of transparency and openness from organisers, lack of opportunity for community groups to get more involved, exclusion of those most in need or support. The list goes on.

We now ask for a public meeting with Manchester Pride, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police to discuss and hopefully resolve the issues mentioned above. Manchester Pride should be an event run by our LGBT community for the LGBT community and not by a board of unelected trustees that has no true community representation.

Doctor Who: One In A Million

Several complaints have been made to the TV watchdog Ofcom over the gay kiss on Doctor Who.

The British science fiction drama came under fire after Madame Vastra and her wife Jenny locked lips in front of 7 million viewers in the UK.

Angry viewers decided to write to Ofcom as they felt the kiss was ‘inappropriate’ to have on before 9pm, the watershed in the UK. The watchdog received six complaints...

How many times!!?

If over seven million people watched the programme, then only six people complaining is statistically insignificant.

It's actually less than one in a million.

Given those odds, a monkey could have dialled Ofcom by mistake.


Further, some people will be offended and complain about anything.

Just take a look at Twitter, it won't take a minute to find someone who's OUTRAGED and DISGUSTED by any gaiety on TV, or, say, the sandwich they just bought for lunch.

Only a provincial pearl-clutching prissy panic-mongerer would think this non-story is newsworthy.

But that's Gay Star News for you - it's like a gay Daily Mail written by naff 12 year-olds.

Update: Ofcom responds; We don't give a fuck about this either

'Having assessed the complaints, we can confirm that they do not raise issues warranting further investigation.

'Our rules do not discriminate between scenes featuring opposite sex and same sex couples.'

Update 2: Compare this OUTRAGE to the 600 people complained to the BBC about that baked alaska thing on Great British Bake Off!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Huffpost Gay Voices: Double Whopper Doublethink

I'm really getting tired of companies, politicians, donors and other entities using their support of LGBT rights -- something much easier to do these days -- as a way to pose as progressive, often as a PR move to blunt criticism of a bad record or even nefarious actions. And it's time that LGBT activists stop letting them get away with it. At this point, many of these entities need us more than we need them. Let's demand more.

The latest is Burger King, which only weeks ago unveiled "The Proud Whopper" to support LGBT pride -- receiving accolades from many LGBT activists -- but now isfleeing to Canada, buying up Tim Hortons, following other American companies engaged in so-called tax inversions, all to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Who cares if Burger King wraps its Whopper in the rainbow if the company is hurting the American economy, American taxpayers and American workers, including LGBT workers?

Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large, Huffpost Gay Voices.

You'd have thought this is just stating the extremely obvious, if we consider ourselves moral agents, not mere gay consumers.

Within the ideological framework of the gay media Signorile seems to be making a radical statement, though it should be as banal a truism as saying slavery is bad.

But Huffpost Gay Voices has continually acted like an over-excited cheerleader whenever a big business announces some crappy pro-gay PR stunt.

Note the 'Proud Whopper' link in the above goes to a story on USA Today, ignoring Huffington Post's knicker-wetting over this tokenistic total non-event - the rainbow wrappers were used in one store over one weekend, the press release went global - Burger King Supports LGBT Rights With 'Proud Whopper' And 'Be Your Way' Campaign.

You also get a photo gallery celebrating 25 LGBT-friendly products and companies; including such saintly megacorps as Gap, General Mills, General Motors, Safeway and Starbucks.

Please accept our sincerest hypocrisy etc.

Happy shopping!

Gaza: Truce

'To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.' Tacitus.

Kate Bush: Tonight's Setlist In Full

By @Mumbler3
Fagburn will be liveblogging tonight's show and streaming footage filmed on my iPad on my YouTube channel.

Update: Neil Tennant arrives at the Hammersmith Apollo! I dunno, but Neil looks kinda different since Loxfest...

ITV News via Phil Robinson

Update 2: Oooh, she's here again! Gays explode. 'Wow! Unbelievable! A triumphant return!' etc etc.

Modern Family: Conservative Family Values

The show is a significant one for more reasons than simply audience numbers and critical acclaim. Created by Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, the team behind Frasier, it’s a show that is pushing television boundaries and, in its own quiet way, changing political viewpoints. Right wing conservatives, including Mitt Romney and his wife, are said to be fans and, in a recent survey, Republicans ranked the show third in a list of their top 15 shows, while Democrats didn’t rank it at all. All rather surprising, given the inclusion of a gay couple with a baby as one of the family units.

“This is probably a little overwrought, but I do actually think the writers are making the world a better place,” Burrell says earnestly. “It’s one of my favourite things about the show. I love it when I talk to conservatives and they’re describing all three couples, and they never mention that one of them is gay. That’s the brilliance of the writing. In a completely unaggressive, apolitical way, they are showing this couple as completely normal dealing with ordinary stuff. The banality of it is the most revolutionary thing.

“I think if you turned around and asked that same conservative person how they felt about gay marriage, that probably hasn’t changed for them, but the seed has been planted none the less. It’s progress and it’s the coolest thing.”

Daily Telegraph interview with Ty Burrell, who plays 'cool dad', Phil Dunphy - and won an Emmy for it last night.

Have I got this right? A TV show that stars a heteronormative gay couple - 'married with child', clearly defined 'him and her' roles - is more popular with American Conservatives than Liberals? 

You amaze me!!

PS Modern Family won its fifth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series yesterday.

And The Normal Heart won the Emmy Award for Best Televsion Movie, somewhat predictably.

PPS Half a decade of Modern Family's upper-class fantasies, Mic.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Ramones: Sweet And Tender Hooligans

Morrissey has compiled the track-listing for the forthcoming Best of the Ramones CD/LP which is due for release by Sire-Rhino. Morrissey has also chosen the sleeve image (above). Morrissey is thankful to the Ramones management for this invitation.

Beautiful, though totally incongruous, sleeve photograph.

PS Of course, Steve Morrissey has always been a champion of the band. 

PS 'This would not have happened to the Teletubbies', from Morrissey's statement on his recent split with Harvest Records after one album. She's so barking and bitter these days, it's hard to know if La Mozz is being ironic or not.

Gay Porn: Straight Women

Porn for women has always had women’s sexuality - or perceived lack of it - as the punchline.

What turns women on, we are told, is men doing the ironing. Men taking the bins out. Men emptying the dishwasher. Maybe while shirtless.


The truth is far more interesting. Because, while 'lesbian porn' has long done a roaring trade among straight men, it seems a growing number of women are turning to man-on-man action to get them going. Indeed, there's an entire subculture of women who believe that, in the words of one online viewer, “there's nothing better than watching two handsome guys f******.” *

In a world where straight women from Judy Garland to the fictional Bridget Jones are painted as the gays' best friend, it's a little surprising...

Daily Telegraph.

No idea if this actually 'a thing' or not. Probably not.

* Fisting?

Truman Capote: Screaming

“For us, death is stronger than life, it pulls like a wind through the dark, all our cries burlesqued in joyless laughter; and with the garbage of liveliness stuffed down us until our guts burst bleeding green, we go screaming round the world, dying, in our rented rooms, nightmare hotels, eternal homes of the transient heart.”

He died today, but in 1984.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Richard Attenborough: 1923-2014

You wanted a recording of my voice, well here it is. What you want me to say is, 'I love you'. Well I don't. I hate you, you little slut...

PS Despite his fruitiness, his brother, David, is the gay one, apparently.