Tag Archives: closet cases

James Woods is dead to me

James Woods played closet case Roy Cohn dying of AIDS in “Citizen Cohn” (above) yet today spews homophobic bile and venom via Twitter.

It is sad when a performer whose work you have enjoyed (or at least didn’t hate) in the past turns out to be another fucking wingnut. It ruins whatever work that he or she did that you enjoyed (or at least didn’t hate).

On that note, perhaps James Woods, given his now-public obsession with gay sex, wasn’t acting very much when he portrayed closeted wingnut Roy Cohn in 1992’s “Citizen Cohn.”

Woods has attended at least one AIDS benefit; played the museum director defending controversial gay photo artist Robert Mapplethorpe’s work in 2000’s “Dirty Pictures”; and did a great job as the voice of Hades in Disney’s 1997 “Hercules,” and Disney isn’t known for hiring known homophobes, so at one point in his life, anyway, Woods appeared to be fairly gay friendly (or at least not publicly homophobic).

Somewhere along the line, though — Alzheimer’s, maybe? — Woods has changed his tone dramatically and drastically.

These days, he’s scatologically homophobically tweeting about CNN’s openly gay Anderson Cooper wearing (or rather, losing) a butt plug while on air, and he recently tweeted of the upcoming film “Call Me By Your Name”: “24 year old man. 17 year old boy. Stop. As they quietly chip away at the last barriers of decency. #NAMBLA.”

Woods — who, again, I suspect, is battling dementia — mindlessly trots out the old right-wing lie equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

Of course, there are only seven years between a 17-year-old and a 24-year-old, and actress Amber Tamblyn publicly has testified that when she was 16 years old, James Woods tried to “pick [her] and [her] friend up,” and that when she told him her age, he replied, “Even better.” (I believe her.)

Let’s do the math: Tamblyn now is 34, so she was 16 about 18 years ago. Woods now is 70, so he was about 52 when he very apparently tried to fuck a 16-year-old, but he blasts the movie “Call Me By Your Name” because it’s about a romance between a 17-year-old and 24-year-old. “NAMBLA!” he cries.

Clearly, this is about homophobia and heterosexism — as well as a colossal amount of fucking hypocrisy — and not about some concern for our “children.” Equating homosexuality to pedophilia always is only a cover for one’s own homophobic bigotry.

On that note, 17 is not a “child” (or a “boy”) in my book. A 17-year-old is a young adult.

The age of consent in Canada is 16, and in the United States of America, the age of consent is between 16 and 18.

In the more-sophisticated-about-sexuality Europe, where “Call Me By My Name” takes place, the age of consent is between 14 and 18.

So comparing the romance depicted in “Call Me By Your Name” to pedophilia is bullshit, but, of course, wingnuts never care about logic, reason or facts.

I’m not sure if Woods ever got to fuck a minor, as he very apparently at least had wanted to, but he did date a 19-year-old when he was 59, and when he was 66 he started dating a 20-year-old.

So these, um, rather significant age differences are A-OK if you’re a heterosexual male, you see, but not if you’re a homosexual male. Then, it’s “pedophilia.”

I’m going to see “Call Me By Your Name” (it’s due out on November 24), and from the early buzz, I’m probably going to enjoy it.

And I’ll never be able to watch anything with James Woods in it again. (Except maybe for “Hercules,” since it’s only his voice… And maybe I’ll watch him die again in “Citizen Cohn.”)

In the meantime, the sooner that we can say “the late James Woods,” the better.

Whatever worthwhile contribution he was going to make to the culture, he already made it years ago.

P.S. For full disclosure, even if I were single and not in a decade-long relationship with another man who is six years older than I am, I can’t see myself ever attempting to have sex with someone who is young enough to be my son.

A young man might be tempting to pair with, but I don’t know how I’d keep up with him, and I don’t know how fair the age difference would be to him.

That said, I’m not troubled by a 17-year-old and a 24-year-old having a sexual relationship as long as it’s consensual and healthy, and, of course, unlike the hypocritical, homophobic and heterosexist (and unhinged) Woods, I’m not at all concerned about the configuration of the pairing (male-male, female-female, female-male or whatever other possible permutation). Their ages and what’s between their legs and what they do in the bedroom (and, within reason, in public) would be their fucking business.

And my definition of “pedophilia,” I think, would necessitate that the “child” (the “girl” or the “boy”) were younger than 16. (The United Kingdom’s age of consent is 16, which seems OK to me.)

P.P.S. Armie Hammer, who plays the 24-year-old in “Call Me By Your Name,” is 31 years old, and Timothée Chalamet, who plays the 17-year-old, is 21 years old. So no minors were “harmed” in the making of this film.

And I’m not a “pedophile” for finding both of those actors to be attractive young men. No more so than is James Woods for having dated a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old (and for apparently having tried to fuck a 16-year-old).

P.P.P.S. How could I have forgotten this one? In July, Woods attacked a family with a gender-fluid son, tweeting in response to a photo of the family, “This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”


(And what have the child’s parents “done”? They have allowed him to be who he is and who he wants to be, rather than to cram Woods’ backasswards, wingnutty worldview down his throat. Yes, they’re awful parents!)

Again, I question Woods’ mental state. I suspect some form of dementia.

Or maybe it’s possible that he long had planned to wait until his acting career had dried up before he finally would unleash his far-right-wing, bat-shit-crazy, incredibly hateful views on the world…

Or maybe he felt ambivalent about retiring, but knew that after he repeatedly had tweeted his cray-cray, he’d never get work again, and so he forced himself into retirement by doing so (able to tell himself that it only was the “alt-left” who had “forced” him into retiring)…


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

2013: The stupid white man’s last stand?

Hopefully the Bad-and-Scary Santa Pope (pictured above) will be replaced with a Cute-and-Cuddly Santa Pope who is not European. In the meantime, I take Pope Palpatine’s rare resignation — the first resignation of a pope in about 600 years — as a great fucking birthday gift.

The examples of the continuing downfall of the stupid white man are so numerous that this piece should write itself.

Let’s see. Where to begin?

We still have stupid white men John McCainosaurus and Lindsey Graham, both U.S. senators with the Repugnican Tea Party, still yelling about “Benghazigate” when no one is listening.

Stupid white man Mittens Romney had tried to make “Benghazigate” a Big Fucking Issue during the second presidential debate, but moderator Candy Crawley slapped him down like the bitch that he is, and Barack Obama went on to win re-election nonetheless, 51 percent to Mittens’ incredibly ironic 47 percent.

Perhaps especially after the Repugnican traitors got off scot-fucking-free from the thousands of preventable American deaths on September 11, 2001, and the thousands of preventable American deaths in the illegal, immoral, unprovoked, unjust and wholly bogus Vietraq War that used 9/11 (and not, say, war profiteering and Big-Oil profiteering) as its main pretext, Americans just weren’t in the mood to spank the Obama administration too hard over the deaths of four Americans, which is a much, much, much, much, much lower body count than we saw during the eight-year reign of the unelected Bush regime (in which I would include the almost 2,000 Americans who unnecessarily were killed by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005).

The last that I heard, the miserable closet case (or, as they say, “confirmed bachelor”) Lindsey Graham was promising to hold up the nomination of Repugnican former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the new secretary of defense. Graham seems undaunted by the fact that he virtually is alone in this little crusade, with the possible exception of McCainosaurus.

I’m not big on Hagel — as I have noted, it sickens me that so many so-called Democratic presidents fairly routinely have picked Repugnicans as their defense secretaries, when not once in the history of the nation has a Repugnican president ever picked a Democrat as his defense secretary (“bipartisanship,” you see, means that the Dems cave in all the fucking time but that the Repugs never give a fucking millimeter) — but who the fuck is Lindsey Graham to try to play president?

In his last election, in 2008, Graham, who hails from the 24th most populous state, South Carolina (which has a population of not even 5 million), received just over 1 million votes. In that same November 2008 election, Obama garnered more than 69 million votes (and he was re-elected with just under 66 million votes).

I get it that South Carolina was the first backasswards red state to secede from the Union, and so that it politically helps the white supremacist Graham with his white-supremacist constituency for him to be taking on the nation’s first black president, but the clear majority of Americans elected Barack Obama, not the bitter pansy Lindsey Fucking Graham, to be commander in chief.

Treasonous chickenhawk pipsqueak Lindsey Graham needs to sit down and shut the fuck up, unless it’s to come out of the closet already and to apologize to the nation for his having afflicted us with his sorry pansy ass.

Then there is President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight — which stupid white man Ted Nugent is to attend as the guest of a stupid-white-male (of course) Repugnican Tea Party U.S. representative from Texas (of course), as a middle finger extended to Barack Obama and to anyone else who opposes massacres perpetrated by lunatics (usually stupid white men who are card-carrying members of the NRA) with assault rifles in public spaces, because there is no doubt that the “freedom” to kill as many innocent people as possible at one time surely is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the Second Amendment.

The vile, washed-up piece of shit, white-trash traitor and gun nut Nugent has made many thinly veiled references to President Obama and other political opponents of his treasonous Repugnican Tea Party being shot — it’s the “tea party’s” “Second-Amendment remedies” for when things don’t go their way at the ballot box, you see — yet some stupid-white-male U.S. representative from Texas thought that it was a classy thing to invite Ted Nugent to the State of the Union address.

Way to reinvent the party that long has been alienating the majority of us Americans, yes — to bring to the State of the Union the guy who has made thinly veiled threats about President Obama and other Democratic elected officials being assassinated?

Then there is the uber-cheesy “So God Made a Farmer” Super Bowl ad for the Dodge Ram that the wingnuts relished because it pretended that we still live in the 19fucking50s — or before.

It must be said that dead right-wing radio show host Paul Harvey — who was the Thomas Kinkade of the radio, painting tacky, sappy, gauzy portraits of a time in the United States of America that probably never existed at all but that certainly no longer exists now — gave his “So God Made a Farmer” speech at a Future Farmers of America convention in 1978. So that’s already more than 30 years ago. But wait, there’s more — he based his 1978 speech on a piece that he’d written for a newspaper in 1975, and it gets even better: Apparently the piece that Harvey wrote in 1975 was ripped off from a letter to the editor of a newspaper from 19fucking40 — more than 70 fucking years ago.

Don’t get me wrong — to the extent that we even have any independent farmers left, I’m sure that many if not even most of them are hard-working, decent individuals, as Dodge’s nauseatingly misleading and manipulative ad alleges. However, surely not every farmer’s son wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, as the ad also alleges, and surely there have been many who have found farm life to be fucking miserable.

And are we really to single out only certain professions as being valuable — the right-wing, macho professions, usually, such as farmers, firefighters, cops and members of the military — and others (the traditionally female-dominated professions, such as nursing and teaching, perhaps especially) as not?

And how can we simply overlook the fact that Big Agriculture, which has enjoyed the full support of the big-corporation-loving Repugnican Party, has killed the independent/family farmer? How can we pretend that we’re still a nation of farmers? What the fuck?

Funnyordie.com’s parody of the God-awful “So God Made a Farmer” ad is probably the best response to the ad that’s out there. It’s called “So God Made a Factory Farmer,” and it gives a much more truthful overview of what farming is about today and ends with the fitting tagline, “Here’s to shameless heartland pandering.”

Speaking of the idea that members of certain professions are to be worshipped, how about “the Shooter”?

“The Shooter” is the apparent stupid white man who (reportedly, anyway) assassinated Osama bin Laden in May 2011 when he was a member of the Navy SEALS. (Reportedly his name isn’t being released because if it were, his life would be in jeopardy from Osama-loving revenge killers.)

“The Shooter,” who, I am guessing, is just another stupid white man who wants all of us to drop to our knees and suck his cock just because he was in the military — even though the military’s bloated-beyond-belief budget is bleeding our nation to death and is destroying us all, a la the militarily overextended ancient Roman empire — apparently has whined to Esquire magazine that although he left the Navy after only 16 years of service when he knew that 20 years was the requirement for him to receive a pension, he is being screwed because he won’t get his pension anyway.

I’m pretty sure that there was no clause in there that said that if you assassinate Osama bin Laden, you can decide on your own to leave the military four years early with impunity, yet this guy is calling himself a victim.

Why special treatment for this man? How would it be fair to his comrades to bend the rules for him?

My understanding is that the first Navy SEAL to encounter bin Laden in the compound in Pakistan was to take bin Laden out. It could have been another member of the SEALS team that did the deed had he encountered bin Laden first, I understand. It’s not like “the Shooter” was the Divinely Anointed One to Avenge Us for 9/11, was it?

That aside, I can’t imagine that the extralegal assassination of Osama bin Laden on another nation’s sovereign soil was allowed by international law anyway. “The Shooter,” in my book, acted illegally.

True, he was just a pawn, but so were the Nazi soldiers who were “just following orders.” We can’t allow that “excuse” for illegal actions. All of us are responsible as individuals when we break the law, whether we carry out the illegal action with our own hands or whether we order it from afar (yes, this makes Barack Obama criminally liable for the extralegal assassination of bin Laden, too, of course). We can’t try to hide behind some larger structure and disavow any personal responsibility for our own actions. Shit like that allows atrocities like the Holocaust and My Lai and Abu Ghraib to happen.

That aside, it’s the entitlement mentality of “the Shooter” that really rankles me. You hear so many current and former members of the military acting like all of us civilians owe them something, usually becuase they have protected our “freedoms.”

No, we don’t owe them anything — they get their paychecks and their benefits (unless they, oh, say, leave service four years too early); that is their pay, and we, the taxpayers, pay them — and looooong ago they stopped fighting for our “freedoms.” Now, they are just taxpayer-funded thugs who enable the plutocrats and their corporations to strong-arm other nations into handing over their natural resources over to the plutocratic and corporate profiteers.

Iraq, for instance, certainly never threatened any American’s freedoms, as it had had no fucking way to do so, but the Vietraq War sure was great for Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton’s no-bid federal contracts and for the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp, including, of course, Big Oil, which when Saddam Hussein was in power was not in Iraq but which is in Iraq now, which tells you what the Vietraq War was all about — the “liberation” not of the Iraqis, of course, but of the oil under their feet.

Our soldiers don’t protect our interests — they protect the plutocrats’ interests, which the plutocrats propagandistically call “our” interests so that we don’t go after them with torches and pitchforks like we should.

Our soldiers actually are doing us more harm than good by allowing the military-industrial machine to keep on chugging and to keep on destroying the American empire, telling us that while we can afford an ever-growing military, we can’t afford to provide for basic human needs, such as adequate health care and decent schools. The military, which we pay for, just can’t afford us, you see.

And lo and behold, if the U.S. military slaughters and savages enough innocent civilians abroad, especially in the Middle East these days, it will create enough enemies, real and fabricated, to try to justify its continued existence. Nice gig, if you can get it — to first create the threat or “threat” and then to claim that you are so vitally needed to deal with it.

Most U.S. military adventurism makes us Americans much less safe, not safer, by creating more animosity against the U.S. abroad.

Yet, again, these soldiers, most of them stupid white men, expect us to stop in the streets and give them head. They are special, they are exempt, they deserve our worship.

“The Shooter” not only left service four years too early, but, AFP notes, his talking to Esquire like he did was prohibited:

Soldiers and spies, whether retired or not, are required to submit manuscripts to the Pentagon for review to ensure no sensitive information is published. But the Esquire piece was not submitted to the department for vetting beforehand, a U.S. defense official said.

The Defense Department is now looking at the article to check if any classified material was divulged, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The Shooter” isn’t some poor, selfless soldier who, according to the sensationalistic cover of Esquire, is being “screwed.” He’s a selfish, self-promoting, rules-ignoring egomaniac who didn’t belong in the military in the first fucking place, along with hordes of other stupid white men who don’t belong in the military for the same reasons.

But there are glimmers of hope on the horizon.

Stunts like the Ted Nugent invitation usually backfire (think of Clint Eastwood talking to that empty chair at the last Repugnican Tea Party National Convention); “the Shooter” is more likely to be seen as the self-serving prick with an outsized sense of entitlement that he is rather than as the “screwed”-over hero that he’d like to portray himself as being; corporations probably will think twice before putting out more nauseating, right-wing, propagandistic, back-to-Mayberry-like ads like Dodge did; Chuck Hagel probably will get confirmed as secretary of defense, despite the attempts of white-supremacist red-state senators to hit at Obama via Hagel; and maybe one day soon Lindsey Graham will be busted like former Idaho U.S. Sen. Larry “Toe-Tappin'” Craig was for soliciting same-sex sex in a public restroom.

We have an actual date for the exit of one stupid white man from the world stage: February 28 is to be Pope Palpatine’s last day, which I consider to be a great fucking birthday gift. (My birthday is February 29, which I celebrate on February 28 and on March 1 three out of four years. [I don’t lose three birthdays every four years — I gain three birthdays every four years…])

Pope Palpatine is an example of the fact that the phenomenon of the stupid white man is not exclusive to the United States. Although I’m not Catholick (in fact, I enjoy watching the Catholick church die here in the United States and in Europe), I was aghast when the Catholicks chose the former Hitler Youth member Joseph Ratzinger as pope in 2005. (The Associated Press notes that “When he was elected the 265th leader of the church on April 19, 2005, [Ratzinger], aged 78, was the oldest pope elected in 275 years and the first German one in nearly 1,000 years.”)

I don’t know — it seems to me that the pope should be cute and cuddly, like the last pope was, not this mean, very old, right-wing German guy who looks waaaay too much like the evil emperor of the “Star Wars” films.

Speaking of “Star Wars,” I recall that cheesy line of Princess Leia’s to her captors on the Death Star in the 1977 installment: “The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

Ratzinger came in as pope believing that the church had gone way too liberal. The modest reforms of the Vatican II, which took place even before I was born more than 40 years ago, were too liberal for Ratzinger; it was back to the Dark Ages for him.  His attempts to bolster the church’s membership by swinging it to the far right, however, only lost the church even more membership in Europe and the United States, like more star systems slipping through his fingers.

Educated and enlightened people increasingly reject the oppressive and backasswards stances of the Catholick church, which apparently is growing only in third-world nations, as though the poor peoples of those nations didn’t already have enough problems.

That said, I hope that the next pope is from Latin America. Or hell, I understand that there’s even this Canadian guy who is in the running. If it can’t be a Latin American, I’ll take the Canadian. (No, I don’t want there to be an American pope. Hell no. The patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic Catholicks have too much power here as it is.) This string of European popes needs to stop, and the selection of the first non-European pope ever would be the world equivalent of Barack Obama’s having been the first non-white U.S. president, in my book.

It will be interesting to see if any Big Scandalous News is revealed after Pope Palpatine’s departure. He is, after all, the first pope to resign since the year 1415.

Maybe it’s just his old age that’s the problem — popes who lived before the days of television probably could be incapacitated for years and get away with it, since they weren’t expected to appear regularly on the non-existent television — but one remains dubious.

In any event, for now, anyway, it seems that after February 28, the world might just get a little bit kinder and gentler after Pope Palpatine is put out to pasture, and one hopes that the year will only continue to get better as the rule of the stupid white man continues to wane all over the globe.

P.S. (Wednesday, February 13, 2013): A simple Google search brings up ample articles on how the membership of the Catholick church indeed has been falling not only in Europe, but in the U.S. as well.

This article from The Week from April 2010, for instance, reports:

How severe is the crisis?
It’s “the largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history,” says the National Catholic Reporter. Worldwide, the Roman Catholic Church now has 1.1 billion members, compared with 1.5 billion Muslims and 593 million Protestants. In the U.S., all the major denominations have seen their numbers decline in recent years, but the Catholic Church has taken the biggest hit. Since the 1960s, four American-born Catholics have left the church for every one who has converted, according to a 2009 Pew study. [Emphasis mine.] In 2008 alone, Catholic membership declined by 400,000. More than 1,000 parishes have closed since 1995, and the number of priests has fallen from about 49,000 to 40,000 during that same period. Some 3,400 Catholic parishes in the U.S. now lack a resident priest. “Catholicism is in decline across America,” says sociologist David Carlin.

What about in Europe?
The situation there is even more dire, especially in the most historically devout countries. In 1991, 84 percent of the Irish population attended Mass at least once a week. Today the weekly attendance figure is less than 50 percent. In Spain, 81 percent of the population identifies itself as Catholic, but two-thirds say they seldom or never attend services. And the priest shortage is acute — in England and Wales, the church ordained only 16 clergy members in all of 2009.

The full article is here:  http://theweek.com/article/index/202388/catholics-in-crisis

And again, a simple Google search will turn up many similar articles and statistics online.

The apologists for the Taliban-like Catholick church are entitled to their fucked-up opinions, but not to their own fucking facts.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

On Jodie Foster and ‘privacy’ vs. shame

This image released by NBC shows Jodie Foster, recipient of the Cecil B. Demille Award, during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)

NBC/Associated Press photo

Actress Jodie Foster kind of officially, publicly came out of the closet the other night when she accepted an award at the Golden Globe Awards. Thankfully, the 50-year-old Foster’s apparent shame over her sexual orientation is rarer in our youthful non-heterosexuals today — no thanks to Foster, of course.

I don’t want this to be a repeat of what I wrote about lesbian astronaut Sally Ride’s posthumous outing in July, so I’ll quote what others have said about actress Jodie Foster’s recent quasi-coming out.

Matthew Breen, the probably-too-pretty editor of The Advocate, wrote this about Foster:

… Everyone should come out in her own time, but Foster was angry last night. One reason could be embarrassment at not having come out publicly (at least in her own estimation) until 2013. Last night’s speech clearly took a lot of guts for Foster to undertake. But too much anger was directed at a straw man of her own creation.

“But now apparently I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo child. No, I’m sorry, that’s just not me, never was, and it never will be,” she said.

There’s where she’s got it wrong. By referencing Honey Boo Boo, a stand-in for all that is shamelessly confessional about celebrity in 2013, Foster’s implication was that the choices she faces as a public figure are few: (1) stay closeted, never acknowledge your sexual orientation in public, or (2) tell the world every sordid detail of your intimate life.

That’s a bogus comparison, and it’s one that reinforces the idea that being LGBT is shameful, worthy of being hidden, and that saying you’re LGBT is an invitation to the whole world to come into your bedroom. That’s patently wrong. There are numerous out celebrities who guard their personal lives: David Hyde Pierce, Anna Paquin, Zachary Quinto, Amber Heard, Anderson Cooper, just to name a few. … [Emphasis is all mine.]

Breen states in his piece on Foster that The Advocate’s policy on outing is this: “While we encourage everyone who doesn’t risk his or her own safety by coming out to do so, The Advocate has a policy of not outing people who are not actively doing harm to LGBTs through word or deed.”

That’s pretty much my personal view on outing, too. Those who can be out should be out, in my book. You can’t assert that someone who might face real physical danger and/or who might be tossed out of his or her home (or maybe even his or her job) should come out if you’re not the one who would have to face the consequences — but often closeted individuals exaggerate how awful it might be should they come out.

Still, that said, even if I strongly think that an individual should be out, in the end, in many if not most cases it’s up to the individual as to whether or not he or she should be out (assuming that everyone doesn’t already know or strongly surmise the individual’s orientation anyway — there are so many closet cases whose self-awareness is so low that they seem to think that no one knows that they’re not heterosexual when pretty much everyone does).

In my book, the individual deserves the “protection” of the closet until and unless he or she does not deserve it, such as if it’s a closeted guy who is not keeping to himself but is sexually harassing others at the workplace (as happened to me) or, of course, if it’s a closet case who actively is working against the “LGBT community,” such as a “Christo”fascist “leader” or a politician. No traitor deserves the “protection” of the closet.

Most people agree on that point, but there remains a sticking point — that of “privacy.”

I like what LGBT writer Nathaniel Frank has to say on this:

… It’s true that hiding [one’s sexual orientation] hurts. Research shows mental health consequences to holding major secrets over time. And yes, it’s absolutely a wasted opportunity for powerful, visible people who probably could come out unscathed to deny young LGBT people the nurturance of knowing that an admired public figure is gay.

Privacy and shame are closely connected. Adam and Eve covered their “privates” the moment they gained moral consciousness, an awareness of good and evil, setting the tone for a truism ever since: You don’t cover up stuff if there ain’t something wrong with it.

Any step a gay person takes to hide their identity that they wouldn’t take to hide the fact that they’re, say, Irish, vegetarian or left-handed is probably not a neutral quest for privacy but reflects their own doubt about just how OK it is to be gay. Foster’s reluctance to just pull an Ellen (“Yep, I’m gay”), and her tortured speech, with its resentful tone and its ultimate avoidance of the “L” word, made being gay and coming out seem tortured things in themselves. … [Emphasis mine.]

And that’s the deep and profound problem that I have with the widespread argument that one’s sexual orientation (if it is not heterosexual, and only if it is not heterosexual, of course) is “private”: The vast majority of heterosexuals don’t go around asserting that their attraction to members of the opposite sex is “private,” do they? And why is that? Because they’re not fucking ashamed of their sexual orientation, that’s why.

So to assert that one’s non-heterosexuality — not one’s specific sex acts, but one’s basic sexual orientation — is “private” is to keep alive the toxic, ignorant, bigoted, harmful belief that to be attracted to members of one’s own sex is shameful, abnormal, “sinful,” etc.

And to contribute to that toxic, heterosexist and homophobic environment — and yes, all of us are responsible for the environment, since all of us make up the environment — is only to add to the number of non-heterosexual people who become addicted to drugs and alcohol, who contemplate or commit suicide, who don’t protect themselves from STDs because (in their low self-esteem) they don’t find themselves to be worth protecting, and who are the victims of hate crimes, since they exist in such a heterosexist, homophobic environment that encourages such hate crimes.

You are contributing to the problem or you are contributing to the solution.

Lying that your basic sexual orientation is a matter of “privacy” — and lying that what others really want to know are the “dirty” details of your sex life when, in fact, no one is inquiring as to such details — is to try to excuse yourself for your own laziness, selfishness and cowardice for which there is no fucking excuse.

That is the problem that I have with Jodie Foster and with others like her who toss out the red herring of “privacy” instead of manning the fuck up already and working to make things better for everyone.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Assorted shit Sunday!

Lowering Arizona (if that’s even still possible)

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu speaks at a news conference, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 in Florence, Ariz.  Babeu, a sheriff seeking the GOP nomination for an Arizona congressional seat has been forced to confirm he is gay amid allegations of misconduct made by a man with whom he previously had a relationship. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu on Saturday denied claims he tried to threaten the man, who is Hispanic, with deportation if their past relationship was made public. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Deirdre Hamill)  MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES

Associated Press photo

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu declares at a press conference in Florence, Arizona, yesterday that he indeed is gay but that he didn’t threaten his reported former male lover, “Jose,” with deportation if “Jose” didn’t keep his mouth shut about their sexual relationship.

This reads like the plot of a Coen brothers movie (except that it’s a Reuters news story):

A local sheriff resigned as a co-chair of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona [yesterday] after he was accused of threatening a former male lover with deportation to Mexico if he talked about their relationship.

In an embarrassing incident for Romney’s struggling campaign, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu denied that he or his lawyer made the deportation threat but stepped down from helping the former Massachusetts governor in the border state.

Babeu acknowledged at a press conference [yesterday] that he is gay and that he had a personal relationship with the man making the allegations, whom he identified only as “Jose.”

“Sheriff Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him. We support his decision,” the Romney campaign said in a statement.

The Phoenix New Times alternative newspaper reported on Friday that Babeu’s lawyer had asked Jose to sign a legal agreement that would require him to keep quiet about his involvement with the sheriff. According to the newspaper, the lawyer also warned Jose that any talk about their relationship could imperil his immigration status.

“All of these allegations that were in one of these newspapers were absolutely false, except for the issue that referred to me as being gay, and that is the truth. I am gay,” Babeu said at the news conference. …

I don’t think that the New Times (a quality news weekly that I used to read when I was [unfortunately…] a resident of Phoenix in the 1990s) wants to be sued for libel, so I tend to believe that the New Times reported the truth.

In any event, what a head case Paul Babeu must be.

The Reuters news story further notes that

Babeu first came to statewide prominence in 2010 when he appeared in a campaign ad for U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee two years earlier, calling for tough immigration measures.

The sheriff, who is a tough law-and-order advocate, was considered a rising star in state Republican politics and a strong candidate to win the Republican nomination for a congressional seat in Arizona this year.

Babeu is a strong critic of the handling of immigration issues by the administration of President Barack Obama.

Yet Babeu reportedly took on an male Mexican immigrant as his lover? And he was assisting the homophobic Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign?

Again, what a head case, to publicly be castigating “illegals”* while one of them, reportedly, privately is your lover, and to publicly be supporting Mitt Romney — whose patriarchal, misogynist, white supremacist, homophobic, “Christo”fascist Mormon cult was instrumental in passing Proposition H8 — while privately being gay.

I’m glad that Babeu at least now is out of the closet, so that we can’t call him a closet case as well as a head case, but of course it doesn’t count as courage on his part, since the New Times outed him; he very apparently never would have come out on his own, but would have continued his hypocritical, double-standard charade indefinitely, apparently.

Babeu’s political career in Arizona should be dead — not because he’s a hypocrite and a liar and a coward, which would be good cause, but primarily because he is gay in one of the nation’s reddest, most hateful and bigoted states.

The upshot is that now that he is out of the closet and his political career within the Repugnican Tea Party just died, he should have plenty of time to have his head examined.

P.S. Via the Phoenix New Times’ website, here is a photo of Babeu with his beau “Jose”:

Paul Babeu and Jose

Maher: Racists break eighth-graders’ code of conduct

Speaking of Arizona, Bill Maher recently did a nice (if rather dated) rant on how members of the treasonous, white supremacist Repugnican Tea Party feel quite comfortable disrespecting President Barack Obama in person, publicly committing acts of deep disrespect that former “President” George W. Bush — who (in my estimation) was more reviled by more Americans than Obama ever has been — ever endured.

(The only public embarrassment that Bush ever endured, to my recollection, was toward the end of his illegitimate presidency, when an Iraqi threw his shoes at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad in protest of the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, which resulted in the unnecessary deaths of thousands and thousands of the Iraqi’s fellow countrymen. [Unfortunately, both of the shoes missed their target.])

The two most glaring examples that Maher recounts are Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer thrusting her talon in Obama’s face on the tarmac in Arizona and Repugnican Tea Party South Carolina U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson screaming out “You lie!” during a live, nationally televised address to Congress that Obama was giving on the topic of health-care reform.

Maher quips that “if Mitt Romney really wants to win over conservative voters, he has to one-up Jan Brewer and spit on Obama’s shoes.”

Maher notes that as much as we on the left skewered Bush during his eight unelected, disastrous years of rule, we respected the office of the presidency and never disrespected Bush publicly in person. This kind of tacit agreement, Maher declares, “has always worked for eighth-grade girls, and it’s always worked for the United States of America.”

Actually, I encourage the white supremacist Repugnican Tea Party traitors to continue their racist assaults on the president, the man who in 2008 received more popular votes than George W. Bush ever did in 2000 or in 2004, in actual numbers and in the percentage of the popular vote. (Bush garnered only 47.9 percent of the popular vote in 2000 — to Democrat Al Gore’s 48.4 percent — and only 50.7 percent in 2004, while in 2008 Obama garnered 52.9 percent of the popular votes to John McCainosaurus’ paltry 45.7 percent, and no other U.S. president ever received as many popular votes as Obama did.)

Racism doesn’t sit well with the majority of the nation’s younger voters, and as the older white supremacists continue to kick off, the Repugnican Tea Party should continue to go extinct. (Ditto for its patriarchy, misogyny and homophobia, which also are killing the Repugnican Tea Party’s future.)

Team Obama still searching for slogans

Not that I’m a huge fan of Barack Obama. But I have very different reasons for that than do the Repugnican Tea Party traitors.

I voted for Barack Obama in November 2008. Even when I walked into my polling place I wasn’t sure whether I would cast my vote for Obama or for independent progressive presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who of course had zero chance of winning but whose political views more closely match my own than do Obama’s (and whom I’d voted for here in California in 2000).

I had given Obama hundreds of dollars, mainly in order to help him defeat Billary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary season, and because I knew that of course the next president would be from the two-party duopoly. I didn’t want a third Bill-Clinton (that is, Democratic-in-name-only) term in Billary Clinton, but with Barack Obama we got that anyway.

That Obama would be the first non-white president in U.S. history was a factor (not a huge factor, but still a factor) in my decision to, at the last minute, darken the oval next to his name on my ballot instead of Ralph Nader’s. Nader couldn’t win anyway, and it was at least a little exhilarating, for the first time in U.S. history, to have the option of voting for someone for president other than yet another white man.

And, call me naive, but I more or less believed Obama’s relentless 2008 campaign promises of “hope” and “change” (and their derivatives, such as “Change we can believe in”).

I didn’t expect Obama as president to achieve miracles, but I did expect him to use the political capital at his disposal. Yet, when he had both houses of Congress dominated by his party and when he had the American public’s good will behind him, Obama utterly squandered his political capital during 2009 and 2010, his best years to push through a progressive agenda — that “hope” and “change” that he’d promised us in return for our support of him.

Instead, in 2009 and 2010 Obama focused on not pissing off the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, but trying to sing “Kumbaya” with them — while shitting and pissing upon his base, whom he and his mouthpieces referred to (among other things) as “sanctimonious” and members of “the professional left.”

Smart: Kowtow to those who never will support you, ever, no matter fucking what, and tell those who put you where you are to go fuck themselves. 

Reuters has a cute little article on how Team Obama knows fully well that it can’t reuse its empty 2008 slogans of “hope” and “change” for 2012 without being laughed off of the planet.

Long ago, I offered this snappy little slogan to Team Obama for 2012: Really This Time!

Team Obama, you can have that. No, really. It’s all yours. No charge.

In the meantime, the only way that I could see myself voting for Obama again is if the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate (“Christo”fascist Mormon Mitt Romney or “Christo”fascist Catholick Prick Santorum, most likely, it appears) were anywhere close to Obama in the polls here in California within about two weeks to Election Day.

With Repugnican Tea Party registration sitting at only a paltry 30 percent of registered voters here in California, the nation’s most populous state — and Democratic registration here being at 44 percent — I can’t see Obama losing California, and in the winner-takes-all Electoral College system, if you vote for anyone but Obama in California in November 2012, your vote essentially won’t matter at all, since Obama’s victory here essentially is a foregone conclusion (I put his chances of winning California and all of its electoral votes at least at 99 percent**).

Therefore, my 2012 presidential vote most likely will go to Green Party candidate Jill Stein, if she makes it to the November ballot.

(The U.S. Green Party is to choose its presidential nominee in July, and it will be Stein or Roseanne Barr. I love Roseanne, but she comes to the Green Party fairly late, and I hate it when in elections celebrity trumps political ability, such as happened here in California when Hollywood testosterone flick star Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger became governor and when former basketball star Kevin Johnson became Sacramento’s mayor.

That said, yes, if it came to that, I would vote for Roseanne Barr over Barack Obama. Hands down.)

*To be clear, I gather from news reports that “Jose,” while not an American citizen, has been in Arizona legally, on a visa. However, let’s face it: when the white supremacists talk about “illegals,” their real problem with these undocumented Mexican (or other Latino) immigrants isn’t the immigrants’ legal status. It’s the color of their skin.

**This model puts Obama’s chances of winning California’s 55 electoral votes at just over 96 percent. It also predicts that Obama will win re-election in November, with 303 electoral votes to 235 electoral votes for his Repugnican Tea Party opponent. That sounds about right to me. I expect that in November Obama will not do as well as he did in November 2008, but that he still will win re-election. (In 2008 Obama won 365 electoral votes to John McCainosaurus’ paltry 173.)


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Desperate Rick Perry takes last refuge of the scoundrel: ‘Christianity’

As is the case with Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, we probably safely can ignore Repugnican Tea Party Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who, like Bachmann, can’t break even 10 percent in recent presidential polls of the members of his own fucking fascistic party. Like Bachmann, Perry would be lucky even to be considered for the Repugnican Tea Party’s vice presidential spot on the 2012 ticket.

Still, Rick Perry’s “Brokeback Mountain”-like anti-gay spot (apparently primarily meant for Iowans, who will caucus early next month) has gone viral to the point that I feel compelled to chime in.

Many have pointed out (correctly) that the jacket that Perry wears in the spot is fairly identical to the jacket worn by the late Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain” —

— and spoofs of the spot abound, including PhotoShop spoofs —

— and video spoofs such as this one, which is Perry’s spot “gay-dubbed”:

Perry deserves to be lampooned. Actually, he deserves worse. He apparently believes that the way to make up for his own glaring deficiencies is to attack an historically oppressed minority group, as though this were the 2004 presidential election (hey, gay-bashing worked pretty well for the last governor from Texas!). Yet the name of Perry’s Brokeback spot is “Strong.” Because yeah, it takes a big, strong, manly man to beat up on gays.

I’ve long suspected that Rick Perry in fact is a closet case, and the video of him giving an apparently drunken speech in New Hampshire in October pretty much confirms my suspicions — in the clip, it appears that Perry is drunk, and that alcohol, the great disinhibitor, brings out what’s deep inside Perry, as he displays much-less-than-macho verbalizations and gesticulations. (As I noted at the time, he acted like a giddy schoolgirl.)

Not that I want Rick Perry on my team — I do not — but if it looks like a queer duck, waddles like a queer duck, and quacks like a queer duck…

But let’s go beyond the image stuff and go ahead and tackle the “substance” of what Perry actually says in his spot. He says: “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”

Wow. This is wrong on so many levels. Where to begin?

OK, first, I suppose, we need to define the word “Christian.” To me, the word means “one who is familiar with and who strives to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

By my definition, of course, Rick Perry and his ilk are not Christians. They are ignorant, fearful, violent (at least violent at heart and violent in spirit if not also physically violent) haters who are bound together not by anything remotely like love, but by their ignorance, their fearfulness and their hatred of the same “out” groups, such as non-heterosexuals, non-“Christians,” non-whites, non-Americans, non-wingnuts, et. al.

Also fundamentally, we need to ask why Perry is conflating non-discrimination within the U.S. military and our children’s ability to “celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” Perry’s “logic” here is as clear as is the “logic” of the “Christo”fascist fucktards who protest at U.S. military funerals, claiming that God kills U.S. soldiers abroad because the United States is too permissive on homosexuality. (What? You don’t see the clear link?)

We also need to look at Rick Perry’s utterly bogus claims of victimhood. “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian,” he whines, although anywhere from around 60 percent to 75 percent of Americans call themselves “Christians.” This is a persecuted minority? Yeah, you know, I, for one, haven’t seen a so-called “Christian” tossed to any lions recently.

Speaking of which, there is no fucking “war on Christmas.” I am so not a Christian (well, I agree with Jesus’ teachings that no one follows, but I certainly don’t identify with the fascistic hypocrites who call themselves “Christians”), but I give Christmas cards and Christmas gifts every year. Christmas is pretty deeply ingrained within the American culture, and affects you whether you identify yourself as a Christian or not.

If anyone has been destroying Christmas, it is those who have commercialized it, who have sucked every drop of spirituality from it in order to make a buck, and they enjoy the full support of the “Christo”fascist Repugnican Tea Partiers, so if anyone is destroying Christmas, it’s the wingnutty fascists who hypocritically blame others when, as usual, it is they who are to blame.

Anyone who wishes to celebrate Christmas in the United States of America may do so — but not with public funds (at least in the blue states, which for the most part honor the separation of church and state). That’s fair and that’s just. The same “Christo”facists who want to use our public funds to shove their own religious beliefs down everyone’s throats would go ballistic if those same public funds were used to promote another religion, such as Islam. And how would the “Christo”fascists feel about Muslim prayers in our public schools?

Yeah, fuck the “Christo”fascists.

Perry also remarks in his spot, “You don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday” — is this Perry’s admission that he just calls himself a “Christian” since it’s good politics in the backasswards “Christo”fascist state of Texas? Is this Perry’s admission that he knows about as much about his own claimed religion as he knows about the U.S. Supreme Court, which he believes has eight justices, and not nine?

Speaking of Christianity, anyone who actually has read and comprehended the words of Jesus Christ as contained in the four gospels would oppose the very existence of the U.S. military, since Jesus taught love and peace and turning the other cheek — not bombing and gunning down and torturing and otherwise maiming and killing and inflicting pain and suffering upon others.

Jesus also said not one fucking word on homosexuality, at least not as recorded in the four gospels.

Obviously the holiday of Christmas was invented after Jesus’ death, so we can’t say that Jesus was pro-Christmas and still claim sanity, and this is what Jesus had to say about the public prayer that Rick “The U.S. Supreme Court Has Eight Justices” Perry claims is so central to Christianity:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” [Matthew 6:5 and Matthew 6:6]

Jesus clearly repudiated public prayer as being something that only hypocrites practice and instructed that his followers should pray in private.

We have all of these so-called “Christians” here in the United States of America, and I don’t believe that in my almost 44 years I’ve actually met any more than a handful of them, not by my reasonable definition of a Christian.

Rick Perry certainly isn’t a Christian. He’s just an apparent alcoholic closet case, a self-loather who has wanted the presidency of the United States of America to fill the endless black void that is his soul, and he has demonstrated that he is perfectly willing to persecute the already persecuted in order to get there. Just like Jesus would do, right? And just like Adolf Hitler and his henchmen did.*

*No, the Hitler comparison is not out there. The right-wing, fascistic/pro-corporate, “Christian” Nazis killed thousands of gay men, just as the American Taliban – the “Christo”fascists here at home, the majority of whom are aligned with the Repugnican Tea Party – would do if they could. Hitler’s political tactic was to whip up hatred of minorities (Jews, gays, gypsies, Communists, et. al.), and that’s what the politicians within the Repugnican Tea Party do also (with hatred of Muslims, gays, “illegals,” “socialists,” et. al.).


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Clint Eastwood’s ‘J. Edgar’ is not your father’s gangster movie

Film review

Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer J. Edgar

Clyde Tolson (played by the Adonis Armie Hammer) and J. Edgar Hoover (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) have a lovers’ quarrel in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar.”

Woe to the heterosexists who don’t bother to research the movies that they see who stumble into Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” thinking that they’re going to see an action-packed gangsta movie (he-man Clint Eastwood is directing, after all) but who instead get “Brokeback Mountain” meets “Bonnie and Clyde” — in which “Bonnie” is the late long-time FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

As others have noted, “J. Edgar” isn’t going to wholly please either side. The heterosexists don’t want the slightest flowery whiff of male homosexuality contaminating their gangster movies, as evidenced by the male homophobe behind me in the audience who twice uttered “faggot!” (and who once uttered “AIDS!”) during the movie and the female homophobe behind me who vocalized her disapproval during the scene in which a distraught J. Edgar Hoover dons his recently deceased mother’s dress.

And gay men like me are going to feel, as I do, that screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (who won an Oscar for his screenplay of “Milk”) and/or director Eastwood wussed out by having portrayed the very apparent real-life same-sex relationship between Hoover and his long-time “assistant” Clyde Tolson as essentially sexless.

No, I didn’t need a steamy sex scene, although I can’t say that I would have minded one; Armie Hammer, who plays Clyde Tolson in “J. Edgar” (and who played the “Winklevi” twins in “The Social Network”) is achingly beautiful, and much more handsome than was the real-life Tolson, just as the real-life J. Edgar never looked anything like Leonardo DiCaprio, even with all of that makeup piled atop his baby face.

But are we really to believe that although the real-life Hoover and Tolson were inseparable and never heterosexually married — and that although Tolson inherited Hoover’s estate after Hoover’s death and later was buried near Hoover — that the two of them never did more than hold hands and share just one (bloody, very conflicted) kiss?

“J. Edgar” apparently would have us believe so, and while many movies about gay characters have a closeted feel to them, this closeted feel can be artful if it is intentional and thus helps us to understand the characters and their sufferings better, but if this closeted feel is a result of the filmmakers’ own cowardice and/or discomfort with the material, then it diminishes the film, and this appears to be the case with “J. Edgar.”

“J. Edgar,” as others have noted, also tries to do too much. Hoover’s time as head of the FBI, which spanned from 1935 to 1972, can’t be captured in one film. Not that it has to be; “J. Edgar” is a fictionalized film, after all, not a documentary, but because “J. Edgar” portrays so many of the historical events during Hoover’s decades-long tenure at the FBI, it has lent itself to be criticized for what it leaves out — such as the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s, which surely was relevant to the real-life Hoover and Tolson.

And because “J. Edgar” tries to capture so many historical events, the examination of Hoover’s psyche gets short shrift.

Judi Dench is good as Hoover’s mother, even if she is portrayed as a textbook case of the overbearing mother who lives through her son so that of course he turns out gay.

Perhaps the most memorable scene in the film is the one in which Hoover’s homophobic mother tells him the story of another young man who turned out to be gay and who killed himself, which was a good thing, in her eyes. Many of us gay men (my husband included) have been told by a homophobic parent that he or she could never accept a gay son, as Hoover is told by his mother in “J. Edgar,” so I expect that scene to resonate with millions of gay men.

Still, “J. Edgar” doesn’t go far enough with the examination of J. Edgar Hoover’s homosexuality. My guess is that that is a result of the combination of Dustin Lance Black’s upbringing as a Mormon, which, I surmise, keeps him on the “safe,” conservative side, and of the generation of Clint Eastwood (he’s 81 years old), who, while he reportedly is pro-gay, on other issues leans to the right (he reportedly can recall having voted for a Democrat only once, and that was former California Gov. Gray Davis in 1998), and who might be one of those individuals who is much more intellectually accepting of homosexuality (that is, in theory) than he is viscerally accepting of it (that is, in practice) — you know, the kind of person who says that he’s OK with gays as long as he doesn’t ever actually have to see two men kissing. (Thus, we could see Tolson and Hoover kiss in “J. Edgar” only if violence was involved. [The scene, by the way, is fairly reminiscent of a similar scene in “Brokeback Mountain” in which our two conflicted lovebirds who live in a homophobic place and time pummel each other.])

“J. Edgar” probably should have picked one path and stuck with it: the documentarian path or the psychoanalytical path. Hoover’s professional life alone was interesting enough to carry a film. It was because of Hoover’s gross abuse of power, including his notoriously illegal monitoring of prominent individuals, that directors of the FBI need the Senate’s approval to serve more than 10 years, indicates Wikipedia.

But also interesting are the psychological dynamics in which those who have something to hide — such as homosexuality in a society in which homosexuality is stigmatized — react to their inner conflict and their self-loathing by becoming anal retentive and relentless moralists who viciously attack others in order to ease their own self-hatred. We saw this not only in J. Edgar Hoover, but in Roy Cohn, the gay assistant to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who isn’t portrayed in “J. Edgar.” (I’ve wondered about the sexual orientation of McCarthy, too, since he was an alcoholic who viciously attacked others and since he picked Cohn to be his assistant, but that’s purely conjecture on my part.)

If I had made “J. Edgar” and were focusing on Hoover’s personal life, I’d have left out all of the Lindbergh baby stuff and focused more on the relationship between Hoover and Tolson, and I especially would have focused on the “Lavender Scare,” which bizarrely gets no real mention in “J. Edgar.”

And I would have left out the scene in which Hoover tries on his dead mother’s dress. The account that the real-life Hoover was seen in a dress is dubious, and in any event, it wasn’t as it is portrayed in “J. Edgar,” and we gay men have enough problems as it is for Black and Eastwood to give homophobes the idea that all gay men like to wear women’s clothing (not that there is anything wrong with that; it’s just that it’s a tiresome stereotype, and Black’s screenplay shows keen gay sensibility except for this fairly unfortunate scene).

Still, despite its flaws — which include the fact that it tries to do too much and that Armie Hammer’s old-man makeup is bad (maybe there’s just no way to make such an Adonis look unattractive) — and despite the fact that it doesn’t belong in the pantheon that includes “Brokeback Mountain” and “Milk,” “J. Edgar” is worth seeing.

My grade: B

Update:I don’t think that I’ve been unfair here to Dustin Lance Black. In a recent interview with the Advocate, he remarked, “I grew up in a military family, which was also Mormon and conservative, so he [J. Edgar Hoover] was seen as a bit of a hero.” Again, Black’s conservative upbringing seems to have greatly colored his portrayal of Hoover in his screenplay. And of the historical Hoover and Clyde Tolson’s relationship, Black stated:

I don’t know how much sex they were having. I couldn’t anchor that in anything provable. I also didn’t need it for what I was trying to say. They may or may not have [had a sexual relationship], but frankly, I wouldn’t want to see it. What’s important to me is they were not straight. They were two gay guys, in my opinion.

What is it with this phenomenon of de-sexing gay men, of stripping them of human sexuality? We don’t do that to heterosexual people! I can’t say that I would have wanted to watch the historical J. Edgar Hoover (who, again, was not an attractive man) getting it on with anyone, either, but was the only alternative to making “J. Edgar: The Gay Porn” making a film that portrays him as a celibate, frustrated closet case?

True, we cannot “anchor” the assertion that Tolson and Hoover had a sexual relationship “in anything provable” — we have only the very strong circumstantial evidence that they had a decades-long sexual relationship — yet the scene in which Hoover puts on his deceased mother’s dress very apparently was fabricated from whole cloth. Why was that liberty OK, but we couldn’t take the liberty of having the two of them ever do anything more than occasionally hold hands and share only one frustrated kiss? 

Critic Roger Ebert also apparently has jumped on the no-sex-for-gay-men bandwagon, proclaiming in his review of the film:

Eastwood’s film is firm in its refusal to cheapen and tarnish by inventing salacious scenes. I don’t get the impression from “J. Edgar” that Eastwood particularly respected Hoover, but I do believe he respected his unyielding public facade.

So to have made the two men sexually active human beings, I suppose, would have been “cheapening,” “tarnishing” and “salacious.” Since they were gay, much better to make them celibate! And apparently “[respecting Hoover’s] unyielding public facade” means going along with Hoover’s having been in the closet, because to do otherwise would have been “disrespectful.” (Fuck the truth!)

Ebert also notes in his review:

In my reading of the film, they were both repressed homosexuals, Hoover more than Tolson, but after love at first sight and a short but heady early courtship, they veered away from sex and began their lives as Longtime Companions. The rewards for arguably not being gay were too tempting for both men, who were wined and dined by Hollywood, Broadway, Washington and Wall Street. It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard.

That reading of the film is correct, because indeed “J. Edgar” intended to keep the two lovers celibate, since gay sex is so dirty, you know, and while we can posit that Hoover was gay, we just can’t go so far as to assert that he ever actually had gay sex (ick!).

Again, the real film in the story of Hoover and Tolson’s relationship is the one indicated by Ebert’s assertion that “It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard,” and I still find it rather stunning that the film glosses over the Lavender Scare of the 1950s. Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn should be in any film about the very-most-likely-gay relationship between Hoover and Tolson, it seems to me.

And speaking of McCarthy, I’m not the only one who has wondered about his sexual orientation. David K. Johnson, author of The Lavender Scare (The University of Chicago Press, 2004), notes (on page 3) that although McCarthy in early 1950 first raised the specter of Communists and gay men having “infiltrated” the U.S. government, McCarthy went on to pursue only the Communist angle, having “mysteriously recused himself” from the witch hunt against gay men. Johnson goes on:

A knowledgeable observer at the time suggested that [McCarthy] did not pursue the “homosexual angle” more aggressively because he was afraid of a boomerang. As an unmarried, middle-aged man, he was subject to gossip and rumor about his own sexuality.

I find the parallels between Hoover and Tolson and McCarthy and Cohn to be striking. Maybe Dustin Lance Black can redeem himself somewhat for his wussy “J. Edgar” screenplay and pen a movie with balls about Joseph McCarthy and his relationship with Roy Cohn, the latter of whom we know for sure was gay. I’ll even give Dustin a highly creative working title: “McCarthy.”


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

On a more serious Weiner-related note…

OK, so I watched U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s tearful news conference (in which he handled the media-shark feeding frenzy pretty well, I think), and I have to admit that I have some amount of sympathy for the guy.

His tears seem genuine, not fabricated, and in any event, it’s not like beating up on Weiner is going to absolve us of our wrongdoing, so we probably can drop our stones right about now.

It’s true that Weiner showed poor judgment by, according to his own admission, having had sexually oriented electronic communications with some women even after he got married. (He claims that he never had any physical relations with these women, and I have no reason not to believe him.)

It’s also true that Weiner showed poor judgment by doing this while being a member of the U.S. House of Representatives when there are always self-aggrandizing bottom-feeders like Andrew Breitbart on patrol for sleaze to sling.

However, it’s also true that Anthony Weiner is a human being, specifically, a male human being, and male human beings sometimes become possessed by testosterone.

That in and of itself is forgiveable. It is, after all, biology.

I personally don’t give a flying fuck whether or not Weiner used any government equipment to send or receive any sexually oriented material. I mean, fuck. That would the very fucking least of our federal government’s problems, wouldn’t it? How about that interminable war in Afghanistan and that probably illegal military intervention in Libya? And the fact that Pakistan would prefer that we pack up our drones and leave already? How about that economy? Those are problems.

The larger issue in “Weinergate,” the national discussion that we should be having but for the most part aren’t, is how much an elected official’s sex life should matter. (We also could use a national discussion on whether or not monogamy really works — ’cause it really doesn’t seem to for a great many people — but my boyfriend reads my blog sometimes, so that’s all that I’ll say about that right now…)

I mean, these political sex scandals go back and forth, Repugnican and Democrat, Democrat and Repugnican, and how do they help us? We get temporarily nationally titillated — admittedly, it’s great blogging material — but are we better for it? Finding out about the infamous blue dress or seeing images of shirtless members of Congress never meant for public viewing* — does wallowing around in this mud make us better people?

As much as I wasn’t exactly devastated to see another New York U.S. representative, Christopher Lee, a Repugnican, resign in February due to the publicization of his shirtless picture (which, despite being married, he sent to a prospective female hookup on Craigslist, who recognized him as a congressman and outed him to the media), I — we — probably could do without these sex scandals, regardless of the partisanship involved. (Which is what I said when I wrote about Christopher Lee in February.)

I retract my earlier statement of today that Weiner should resign, primarily for his having lied.

The House Ethics Committee apparently is going to look into “Weinergate,” and probably will slap Weiner on the wrist, especially for having lied (and maybe for having inappropriately used government resources, if he did so).

But whether or not having lied to the public, which Weiner fully admits that he did, should end his career as a U.S. representative should be up to the voters of his district in November 2012 — not up to Andrew “Archie Bunker” Breitbart or other political enemies, not to the media, not to you (unless, of course, you live in his district), not to me.

Weiner didn’t lie about something of national importance, and it’s understandable why he lied.

He said it himself, when asked point-blank in his news conference today why he lied. He replied: “I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. [I still am] to this moment. I was trying to protect my wife, I was trying to protect myself from shame. It was a mistake. And I — and I really regret it.”

I don’t know. From what we know up to this point, Weiner seems guilty primarily of having been human while having been a U.S. representative. At this point, it seems to me, even more dog-piling upon Weiner probably is a larger statement about our collective character than his.

And it seems to me that unless Weiner is found guilty of having committed sexual harassment — which I consider to be a serious offense for anyone, but even more so for those in positions of considerable power (with that power comes commensurate responsibility) — the matter is between him and his wife and those women who presumably communicated with him voluntarily. 

And this bottom-feeding really needs to stop. We continue relish this shit and slime while the American empire continues to collapse all around us.

*Frankly, I find it skeezy — and, frankly, gay**, in a closeted kind of way — that 29-year-old U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, an Illinois Repugnican, appears on the cover of the current issue of Men’s Health:

Aaron Schock: Shirtless for Men's Health!

I picked up this issue of the softcore gay porn magazine in a store recently, and it occurred to me, as I looked closely at the cover, that maybe we don’t really need to see our elected officials’ appendectomy scars and treasure trails. (And Schock’s treasure trail and chest are meticulously manscaped, and you know how I feel about that.)

Honestly, if we are going to castigate Weiner for having had sexually charged images of himself released to the public by someone else — saying that these images of him diminish the institution of the U.S. Congress — can we say that Rep. Aaron Schock’s having posed for the cover of a softcore gay porn magazine does not also diminish the institution of the U.S. Congress? 

What’s next? U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan on the cover of Playgirl?***

**Schock allegedly is heterosexual, but judge for yourself from this photo of him that surfaced a year ago:

Really, I’m surprised he didn’t just tie his shirt like Daisy Duke:

***Well, we can hope


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized