Tag Archives: Harvey Milk

Yeah, I’d Tickle That: Day Five (or, Frisky for Franco)

Actor James Franco receiving Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding recognition last year

Wikipedia notes that James Franco was elected by his high school senior class as possessing the “best smile.”

Oh, hell yeah. That’s a killer smile.

I haven’t seen Franco in much, unfortunately. The “Spider-Man” movies. “Milk,” of course, as Harvey Milk’s boyfriend Scott Smith, in which Franco is absolutely adorable. And I do believe that that’s it. But he makes my Top 10 list hands down.

Even when he’s made up to look rather scuzzy, as he was in “Pineapple Express” (which I haven’t seen), that smile is a slayer:

His entire face lights up when he smiles.

Who could resist?

Of course, Franco is reportedly straight… >Sigh.<

I need at least one hot gay celebrity for my Top 10…

P.S. I see now that Salon.com named Franco the “sexiest man living” for 2009 in November. He’s an excellent choice for that distinction. He certainly makes at least my top three.

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Oh, fuck THAT shit!

This fucking bullshit is from The Sacramento Bee today:

Watch your mouth, California.

The nation’s most populous state is asking its 38 million residents to stop using four-letter words for an entire week beginning Monday.

On a voice vote, the [state] Assembly passed a resolution [today] declaring the first week of March each year as “Cuss-Free Week” and inviting, but not requiring, Californians to comply.

The resolution honors McKay Hatch, who started a no-cussing club at his South Pasadena junior high school nearly three years ago.

The 16-year-old Hatch, who has seen no-cussing clubs expand to more than 100 schools and 35,000 online members, attended [today’s] Assembly vote.

Hatch doesn’t really expect the entire state to honor the resolution, but he hopes it will attract attention to civil discourse.

“I just want to get back to the basics,” he said. “People use cussing so frequently that they don’t even know it, but it really offends a lot of people.”

ACR 112 comes four months after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sparked headlines with an acrostic veto message that began with the letter “F” and ended with “YOU.”

OK, first off, this fucking McKay Hatch kid never is going to lose his virginity. Just sayin’.

Second of all, I just might fucking use even more profanity than usual next week. (In my blogging, anyway. At the workplace, I actually use profanity fairly rarely.)

Dipshits occasionally comment on my blog that I use too much profanity. My stock response to each and every one of them is:

Fuck you!

I’ve used profanity profusely since I began blogging in 2002. I’m not about to stop now.

I find profanity to be a great way to let off steam. But I suppose that we’d rather that people be pummeling each other instead of cussing.

It’s interesting what Americans will accept. In no certain order: stolen presidential elections, bogus wars resulting in the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent people (not to mention the deaths of thousands of our own military personnel, most of them young people), the vanishing middle class due to plutocratic/corporatocratic greed, record federal budget deficits because of the military-industrial complex (via those bogus wars), shrinking civil rights, climate change, torture, for fuck’s sake… 

But don’t you fucking cuss!

Yeah, I’d say that the use of profanity is the nation’s No. 1 problem right now.

I love the idea of “nice” people: They espouse satanic ideologies that not only harm innocent people but that even threaten the continued existence of the planet itself. But they are “nice,” “respectable,” “upstanding” “citizens” — because they don’t cuss.

Oh, fucking lick me.

On a serious note, when the California state Legislature took up a bill to create an annual day of recognition for gay-rights icon Harvey Milk, the wingnuts went agog that the Legislature would “waste” time on such an “insignificant” matter when the state faces such dire problems. (Although he’d vetoed it in 2008, Schwarzenegger signed the Harvey Milk Day bill into law in October, and the state’s first Harvey Milk Day, which, as a day of recognition will not be a paid state holiday for state government workers, will be on May 22, the late Milk’s birthday.)

I haven’t heard a peep from anyone that the Legislature spent time on a resolution that calls for a fucking moratorium on profanity for a week.

Because while cussing is a huge fucking problem, who gives a shit about such trivialities as equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals?

Fuck those fags!

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A singular film

Film review

Colin Firth plays the character of the tortured gay English professor George Falconer in the film adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s somewhat autobiographical novel A Single Man.

I love gay men’s history.

Call me a geek, but I’ve long believed that it’s difficult to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been, especially as a member of a historically oppressed minority group, and so I eat up gay history.

As a college student in a red state in the mid- to late 1980s, I had to remain closeted or risk harassment, perhaps even to the point that remaining at my university might have been made impossible — and further, the newish AIDS crisis was on and there still was some hysteria as to how easily AIDS was transmitted from person to person, so not only was same-sex sex was ruined for me, but there was the further social stigma that Gay meant Dying of the New (Gay) Plague. As if being hated for not being attracted to the opposite sex weren’t bad enough, gay men were the New Lepers.

While the pre-AIDS generations of gay men got to have their sexual romps (the unfortunate price of which many if not most of them paid later), the closet was even rougher for them than it was for me; for them, consensual homosexual relations meant possible arrest and even incarceration for “sex crimes” and a life ruined.

Among my gay-rights heroes are Harry Hay (I recently watched a DVD biography on Hay titled “Hope Along the Wind,” which, among other things, chronicles the high degree of secrecy in which the early gay-rights groups had to meet in the paranoid 1950s, and the nexus between homosexuality and Communism created by the wingnutty McCarthyites); Harvey Milk, of course (whom I lovingly regard as “St. Harvey”); and Christopher Isherwood, who, like Hay, was born in England but eventually found himself in California to, in his own way, mostly through his writing, advance gay rights.

Now has come the film version of what many critics consider to be Isherwood’s best novel, A Single Man, in which the main character, George Falconer, bears striking resemblances to Isherwood.

In “A Single Man,” directed and co-written by Tom Ford, George (played wonderfully by Colin Firth, who also played an interesting gay character in the quirky queer-themed 1989 thriller “Apartment Zero”) is an English professor living in Los Angeles of the early 1960s, a place where it was easier to be gay in the United States than in most other places in the nation at the time, but a time when it still wasn’t OK to the vast majority of Americans for anyone to be gay anywhere.

George has just lost his younger mate, Jim, to a car accident after their 16-year relationship, and George struggles to continue with his life.

I imagine that in that day and age it was difficult to find a same-sex mate at all, so to lose one with whom you’d really bonded would have been devastating.

And indeed, George is devastated, which “A Single Man” chronicles.

George’s main emotional support comes from his female friend and neighbor, Charley, a fellow Londoner who came to Los Angeles to pursue a dream that eluded her also. Charley is an alcoholic and so she can be only so supportive of George, and further complicating their friendship, Charley still wishes that she and Charley had become a married couple before their lives went in different directions.

Poignant scenes in “A Single Man” abound: The flashbacks between George and his deceased partner Jim (played quite charmingly by Matthew Goode); the scene in which George is informed by Jim’s relative that Jim’s funeral is for “family” only; the uncomfortable scene in which Charley, apparently not really thinking, denigrates the years-long relationship that George and Jim had had as something rather frivolous and not very serious; the scene in which George is propositioned by an apparent hustler who exudes sex appeal (and who actually seems like good relationship material, not just a hustler); the scene in which George indirectly brings up homosexuality in his English class and his closeted-by-necessity gay male students squirm in their seats. Perhaps no scene is better than the one in which George’s suicide attempt is bungled by his own anal retentiveness.

Providing a story to go along with the scenes of George’s dreary life of an aging, closeted widow(er) is the hot pursuit of George by one of students, the earnest, young and gay Kenny, played by a doe-eyed, angora-sweater-wearing Nicholas Hoult, probably best known for having played the fatherless little boy chasing after the single ladies’ man Hugh Grant in 2002’s “About a Boy.” I find it funny that Hoult has played two roles now in which his character chases around an Englishman, albeit with very different intentions.

The roundabout language that the gay male characters in “A Single Man” have to use in discussing their homosexuality — they have to dance around the subject — is interesting, and maybe one could argue that it was more romantic and thrilling to be gay during the time when you couldn’t talk about “the love that dare not speak its name” directly. The closet is a soul-stifling place to be, however, so I can’t say that I’d trade today’s more open atmosphere for the thrill or the romance of the closet, if there ever was or is such a thing.

The charged interaction between Kenny and George raises the issue of how much of an age difference is OK in sexual relationships, but to me the even larger issue is whether a college professor of any sexual persuasion should be sleeping with any of his or her students. (The answer to that is no, and I won’t tell you how it plays out between Kenny and George.)

The dynamic between George and Kenny seems to mirror the real-life dynamic between Christopher Isherwood and his much younger partner, Don Bachardy, who still was in his teens when he and the 48-year-old Isherwood met and became a couple in the 1950s in Southern California, where in the 1950s and 1960s Isherwood taught English at Los Angeles State College (now Californa State University at Los Angeles; and no, Barchardy was not a student of Isherwood’s when they met).

The worthwhile 2008 documentary “Chris & Don: A Love Story,” chronicles Isherwood and Bachardy’s relationship up to Isherwood’s death from prostate cancer at age 81 in 1986. (Unlike “A Single Man’s” character of Jim, Bachardy outlived Isherwood, and he is alive today; interestingly, Tom Ford reportedly said in this interview: “As I understand it from Don Bachardy … Christopher wrote this story when Don left him for about eight months and moved to New York with someone else. Christopher imagined that Don had died and that he was alone, and he wrote this story.”)

While “Chris & Don” demonstrates that the significant age difference between Isherwood and Bachardy apparently sometimes reared its ugly head in their relationship — such as how Isherwood apparently often was a father figure to Barchardy as well as his lover, and how Isherwood allowed the much younger Barchardy to have dalliances with men of his own generation — I hesitate to judge two others’ relationship, as only the two people in a relationship can really know what that relationship is all about.

“Chris & Don” and “A Single Man” are good companion pieces, and I recommend that those who have seen and enjoyed one of the two films see the other.

And I add “A Single Man” to the canon of worthwhile films about what it was like to be gay back in the day, such as “Brokeback Mountain” (which, like “A Single Man,” also takes place in the early 1960s), “Far from Heaven” (also starring Julianne Moore, and which, like “A Single Man” does, captures the look and feel of the time period shockingly well), “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Milk” (of course).

My only gripe with “A Single Man” is that I don’t like its ending. Why do so many gay protagonists have to meet with a tragic ending? Why do the straights so often get to live happily ever after but we gay men so often don’t?

I don’t blame Tom Ford, though; I have an old paperbook copy of Isherwood’s A Single Man, which I haven’t read, but I did glimpse at the novel’s ending, and apparently Ford was being faithful to the ending of the novel. (He probably would have gotten some shit from the purists if he hadn’t.)

I’d like to think that if Isherwood wrote the novel today, it would have a happier ending, an ending that he just couldn’t have imagined when he had it published in 1964.

My grade: A-

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An open letter to Joe Solmonese

Joe Solmonese — here he is rubbing shoulders with pseudo-progressive Billary Clinton (the Clintons did little to nothing for gay men and lesbians but they sure have liked their money!):

— is the president of the Human Rights Campaign, probably the nation’s most powerful gay and lesbian rights lobbying group.

From what I can tell, Joe really likes himself.

Well, probably not, not really, not when you really examine it. I mean, how can you sell out your people for personal gain like he does and really like yourself?

But he “likes” himself like so many pretty and rich white gay men “like” themselves, I mean.

Dear Joe (may I call you Joe?):

I have given the Human Rights Campaign a considerable amount of money, probably especially after Proposition Hate passed here in California in November. Not only am I a member of the HRC — well, I think that I’m still a member in good standing, since I still get the quarterly HRC publication Equality in the mail– but I’ve purchased a lot of stuff from the HRC website’s shop, and I do believe that I’ve made at least a few one-time online contributions to the HRC as well.

But Joe, I’m concerned.

Looking at the fall 2009 issue of Equality, I see some things that I find disturbing.

I see all of these full-page ads for corporations. There is, on page 6, a full-page ad for American Airlines. Does American Airlines pay its pilots diddly squat, like Michael Moore exposed in his latest work, “Capitalism: A Love Story”?

On page 8 of Equality is a full-page ad for Chevron. Chevron. Didn’t Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice go directly from Chevron to the BushCheneyCorp?

I mean, Chevron, Joe? Because we all know that global warming is bullshit! Condi says so!

I don’t know much about Wall Street, Joe, being quite middle class (if, um, that), but on page 10 is a full-page ad for Deloitte, on page 14 is a full-page ad for Ernst & Young, and on page 15 is a full-page ad for Citigroup. Aren’t these all players on Wall Street, and wasn’t at least one of these Wall Street players featured in “Capitalism: A Love Story” as one of the recipients of the bullshit $700 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street? (Wasn’t it Citigroup that Moore was wrapping crime-scene tape around in “Capitalism”?)

Wait, there’s more. On page 18 is a full-page ad for Prudential.

Oh, and Chevron won’t be outdone, because on page 22 is a full-page ad for Shell Oil.

But hey, escape from all of this depressing talk about corporate responsibility and check out “the new Luxor” in Las Vegas, which has a full-page ad on page 24 (and features an apparent lesbian apparently using another apparent lesbian for her money — sweet!).  

Page 31 of the current issue of Equality advises us readers to “SUPPORT [the HRC’s] NATIONAL CORPORATE SPONSORS” and lists such corporate sponsors as American Airlines, Citigroup, Bank of America, Chevron, Harrah’s Entertainment, Nike, Shell, Chase and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Sure, there are some corporate sponsors of HRC that don’t strike me as too bad and some I haven’t even heard of, such as Google and Dell and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (is this a corporation or are these two rich gay men who are in love with each other and who would like the whole world to know by spelling it out that way?). But most of HRC’s corporate sponsors send shivers up my spine, Joe.

My point, Joe, is that it’s not enough for me to know that someone affectionately prefers members of his or her same sex like I do and/or that his or her corporation is willing to give the Human Rights Campaign some money. I want to know that a person or a corporation isn’t causing others harm, even if he or she or it is not overtly anti-gay.

And as a gay man, I’m sick and tired of being reduced to a target group by corporations that don’t wuv me, as they claim, but that just want my money. It’s calculated, Joe. Corporations almost never do anything that they don’t believe will help their profits. If appearing to be pro-gay-and-lesbian will bring in the profits, then the corporations will do it.

I look at the whole picture, Joe, not just my tiny place within it.

Your concerns might be very different from mine, Joe. You might make a lot of money as the president of the HRC, and thus these “corporate sponsors” might be very important for you to be able to continue to live in the way in which I’m guessing that you’ve become accustomed.

But, Joe, when I weigh your personal fortune against things like, oh, say, the future of the entire planet itself, the future which the likes of Chevron and Shell and many if not most other transnational corporations are threatening, well, um, no offense, Joe, but I’m going to have to put the well-being of the entire planet above your own personal well-being.

Joe, lots and lots of corporations give a teeny-tiny percentage of their obscene profits to groups like the Human Rights Campaign in order to make it look like they’re actually not that bad after all.   

But, Joe, they’re actually that bad after all.

Have you seen the documentary “Flag Wars,” Joe? (Please indulge me a little here…) In that documentary, gay men and lesbians (living in Ohio) are portrayed as selfish, cold-hearted money-grubbers who care only about their own personal fortunes.

There’s a rich white lesbian who, in one great scene, goes on a drunken rant about how great capitalism has been to her. (It’s funny how both the impoverished and the rich sure seem to like to get drunk a lot, but I digress…)

In another scene in “Flag Wars,” an apparently rich white gay man states that historical homes in his neighborhood have to be “saved” from the poor. These homes have to be snatched away from their impoverished long-time residents by rich gay men and lesbians, renovated, and then sold for big profits. Screw the poor and save the homes! That’s what the gay men and the lesbians in the film say, in effect, quite unabashedly: it’s profits over people.

What kind of human beings do we gay men and lesbians want to be, Joe?

I don’t know about you, but as for me, before I am a gay man, Joe, I am a human being, and you know what? I don’t want to be the kind of human being like the heartless gay men and lesbians who are portrayed in “Flag Wars,” and the Human Rights Campaign encourages gay men and lesbians to be this kind of human being by kowtowing to corporations, perhaps especially to the Wall Street players and big oil.

I don’t know that I can continue to be a member of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe. HRC’s pro-corporate values certainly don’t seem to be in alignment with my own values as a gay man who cares about others besides myself.

I think that I already know what your counter-argument will be, Joe: HRC really, really needs the money that the corporations throw its way. And that if you didn’t accept that money as HRC president, then someone else would. Yadda yadda yadda…

But you know what, Joe? I am sick and tired of being sold out by gay and lesbian “leaders.” It’s not just you — it’s almost all gay and lesbian “leaders” who, for just the right amount of money (which often isn’t really that much) and the opportunity to do such things as to be photographed with Billary Clinton, will sell their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters (and indeed, all of the rest of humankind) out.

So we see all kinds of things that are harmful to the gay and lesbian community. We see ads for alcohol and for bars in almost all of the gay and lesbian publications, and often a gay and lesbian community’s “leaders” (such as is the case here in Sacramento) are the owners of the gay and lesbian bars that encourage alcoholism and smoking and drunken hookups, which are so helpful for the gay and lesbian community!

We see the ads for the anti-HIV drugs placed by the big-pharma corporations in which healthy-looking, young, muscular models give gay men the idea that HIV is no big deal — if you catch it you can just take a pill.

(The other gay and lesbian “leaders” in Sacramento and elsewhere are the publishers of the gay and lesbian rags who personally profit from such advertising that actually harms the very same community that they claim they are helping.)

When we gay men and lesbians aren’t being encouraged by our “leaders” and their for-personal-profit businesses and publications to be drinking and smoking and sexing, we’re encouraged to buy stuff, to use materialism (including personal investments and pointless travel) as our drug of choice. (The fall 2009 issue of Equality also includes full-page ads for travel agencies, hotel chains and furniture.)  

Is there nothing more to being gay or lesbian than catering to our addictions to chemical substances, to sex and to money and things, Joe?

Can we gay men and lesbians perhaps be bold and brave leaders instead of being trembling followers, and help our fellow men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation, out of the spirit-and-soul-crushing effects of the humongous corporations that now control almost every aspect of our lives, even the groups like HRC that are supposed to be helping to make us free?

Joe, can you be part of a revolution that actually makes gay men and lesbians free, truly free, instead of keeping them enslaved to such things as materialism and alcoholism and sex addiction and other addictions?

Or are you utterly unable to part with the lifestyle that you have attained, even though your lifestyle comes at the expense of those you are supposed to be helping and freeing?

Please let me know, Joe.

But, truthfully, I’m not holding my breath for your response, because you seem to be addicted to corporate money, and it just might take an intervention, because I doubt that you can overcome your addiction on your own.

Thanks for listening.

Yours,

Robert Crook
Sacramento, California

P.S. From what I know of Harvey Milk and what he thought of Democrats who just use the members of the gay and lesbian community as ATMs — and what he thought of those members of the gay and lesbian community who support these Democrats — Milk is not just turning, but he is spinning, in his grave.

(Actually, you might know that Milk was cremated and not interred, but that fact just doesn’t lend itself to my point…)

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‘The gay ATM ran dry’

I and millions of other non-heterosexuals won’t give President Barack Obama or the Democrats another fucking pink penny until they follow through on their campaign promises and stop taking us for pansies who will bend over and take it perpetually. We’re beyond sick and fucking tired of being treated like a pink ATM.

I don’t usually regurgitate others’ work in its entirety, but this piece by gay blogger John Aravosis (via Salon.com), titled “President Obama Betrays the Gay Community,” is worth regurging in its entirety (links are Aravosis’); I agree with every word of it. As I wrote back in December, I regretted my vote for Obama even before he took office.

Team Obama keeps telling lesbian and gay Americans like me to be patient. If we just wait a little longer, administration officials whisper to us lovingly (and out of earshot of the media), after the White House finishes with healthcare reform and getting the troops out of Iraq, your time will come. In the meantime, cheer up — we put a gay band in the inaugural parade!

Everyone loves a parade, but we don’t like being betrayed. And while gay and lesbian Americans were initially willing to cut our new president some slack, the president’s now-clear reticence to follow through on even one of his many campaign promises to the gay community has put the Democratic Party on the precipice of an ugly and very public divorce with this once-solid constituency.

During the presidential primaries, then-candidate Obama promoted himself as the biggest defender of gay rights since Harvey Milk. He would be a “fierce advocate” for our rights, he promised, and he even out-gayed Hillary Clinton: telling gay and lesbian voters that while she was for a partial repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he’d get rid of the whole damn thing.

And there was much rejoicing.

Then, not so much.

About a year before the November election, primary challenger Obama invited Donnie McClurkin, a homophobic gospel singer who claims to have been “cured” of his own homosexuality, to lead a series of concerts in the South in order to woo the black vote. The gays were not amused, but candidate Obama held firm.

The gays forgave the Big O until a year later, when then-President-elect Obama chose evangelical preacher (and well-known homophobe) Rick Warren to give the inaugural prayer. Again, the gays expressed their ire, Obama wouldn’t budge, and his advisors continued to whisper sweet nothings in our ears about how glorious the future would be once Dear Leader was finally in office.

But a funny thing happened on the way to equality. Rather than clouds opening up and angels descending from on high, Barack Obama became president and things never got better for the gays. In fact, they got decidedly worse.

On taking office, Obama immediately announced that he was doing away with the Clinton-era concept of special assistants who served as liaisons to various communities like gays and Latinos. He then went ahead and appointed special liaisons to some of those communities anyway, but never to the gays.

Around the same time, the White House website, once detailing half a page of presidential promises to the gay community, overnight saw those pledges shortened to three simple sentences. Gone were five of the eight previous commitments, including the promises to repeal both Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and DOMA.

Adding to a growing sense of angst, senior White House officials kept telling the media that they weren’t sure when, if ever, the president would follow through on his promises to the gay community.

Then there were the Cabinet appointees. Three Latino nominees but nary a gay in sight.

And finally, last week our president had his Department of Justice file a brief in defense of DOMA, a law he had once called “abhorrent.” In that brief, filed on the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia (which outlawed bans on interracial marriage), our own interracial Harvey Milk, not lacking a sense of historical irony, compared our love to incest and pedophilia.

Shit, meet fan.

Tonight, President Fierce will try to make amends by signing either a memorandum, a directive or an executive order, directing some federal agencies, but not others, to provide some benefits, but not others, to some gay federal employees, but not others, at some undisclosed time in the future. (And the benefits may reportedly go away when Obama leaves office.)

First problem, federal agencies already have the right to provide these benefits to gay employees — and several, including at least one DOD agency, do. Second problem, the administration can’t tell us exactly which benefits they’re talking about and for which employees.

That’s because this was all hastily thrown together after the incestuous and pedophilic gays nearly brought down a Democratic National Committee gay pride fundraiser scheduled for next week. A gay blogger got hold of the event’s guest list and published it, and once D.C.’s gay paper, the Washington Blade, announced that it would be staking out the entrance to the event with camera and video, the $1,000-a-head attendees started dropping like flies.

In other words, the only reason we’re getting anything: The gay ATM ran dry.

Don’t get me wrong. Some federal employees getting some benefits at some future point is definitely something. But it’s not an answer to why this president directed his Department of Justice to defend a law he previously opposed when he didn’t have to. It doesn’t explain why the DOMA brief linked a key Democratic constituency to pedophilia and incest. Or why this president has already overseen the discharge of 253 gay service members, and has refused to issue a stop-loss order ceasing those discharges. Or why he won’t lift a finger to push Congress to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

The president would like us to believe that he’s awfully busy being president, and if we only wait a little while longer, we’ll get our rights. Of course, the president isn’t too busy to stab the community in the back by continuing the military discharges, defending DOMA, and comparing us to pedophiles. (On Wednesday, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs was given a chance to repudiate the DOMA brief’s language about incest and pedophilia and would not.)

When, Mr. President, will be a good time to set my people free? When will the leader of the free world get a breather, a presidential timeout as it were? (And I thought this was the administration that could walk and chew gum at the same time.)

Are we really to believe that 2010, a congressional election year, will be any more timely than today? Or 2011, the beginning of the presidential primaries? Or 2012, with a congressional and presidential election? There is quite literally no time like the present.

The real problem is that Team Obama is stuck in 1993. Perhaps some advisor has convinced our once-fierce advocate that gay rights is the third rail of presidential politics. Just look at what happened to President Clinton 16 years ago when he tried to help the gays, the insider is likely warning.

But 2009 is not 1993. Sixty-seven percent of Americans now favor granting same-sex couples the right to marry or join in civil unions. Sixty-nine percent support letting openly gay men and lesbian women serve in our military, including a majority of Republicans (58 percent), conservatives (58 percent), and even churchgoers (60 percent). And an overwhelming number of Americans have long since supported passing legislation banning job discrimination against gays.

The controversy is in President Obama’s mind — at least it was until it became real and moved to the Democratic Party’s pocketbook.

What can the president do to avoid outright rupture with the gay community? He needs to start fulfilling his campaign promises — even one would be a nice start. He needs to stop the discharges, and stop the Falwellian legal briefs in support of a policy he opposes. He needs to push — really push — for legislation banning job discrimination, repealing DOMA, and lifting Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Many of us were willing to cut our new president some slack. Not anymore.

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GREAT: MORE Jewish ‘victimization’!

Updated below

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC ...

AFP photo

Oy vey: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., photographed above in 2003, was shot up today by some crazy old hater.

Saturday evening I remarked over a friend’s birthday dinner that they make too damned many movies about Nazis these days. Because they do: “Valkyrie.” “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” “Defiance.” “The Reader.” Etc. Etc.

I didn’t say that they make too many Holocaust movies. I said too many Nazi movies. I hate Nazis and there are too damned many movies featuring them; and because of their extremeness, it’s just too easy to make Nazis your film’s villains. And is there no other topic to make movies about? And do they not make Nazi movies primarily with Oscars in mind?

But the fact that I said “Nazi movies” didn’t stop the Jewish baby boomer across the table from me from going apoplectic over my remark, as though (1) I were attacking Jews and/or minimizing (or perhaps even — gasp! — denying!) the Holocaust and (2) as though he had experienced the Holocaust himself.

I’m so fucking sick and tired of the Jewish mentality of victimhood. Too many Jews like to hit others over the head with what I call the “‘H’ club” (“H” for “Holocaust”).

You (the non-Jew) are supposed to feel immediately horrible about yourself in the presence of someone who is the descendant of someone else who suffered horribly some 65 to 75 years ago.

And hell, you don’t even have to have had an ancestor who suffered in the Holocaust to be able to claim victimhood by proxy. You just have to be Jewish.

And hell, I don’t think that you even have to have been born Jewish; I think that you even can be just a convert to Judaism and still be able to walk around hitting unwitting others over the head with your “H” club for fun and profit.

So anyway, this is my sentiment, and then today’s news is that some old white supremacist and anti-Semite opened fire at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. today, shooting and wounding a guard.

Hell. Open a museum dedicated to victimhood, and yes, you’re likely to attract a crazy hater now and then, and one crazy hater shooting up a place that enshrines hatred is not indicative of systemic victimhood.

You know, as a gay man whose equal human and civil rights were shot down by a slim majority of voters in November, I’m no stranger to oppression.

Gay men were persecuted by the Nazis in the Holocaust, too, but I don’t go around clubbing people with my “H” club.

And it’s hard to buy that the Jews still are such victims when the Israel-first lobby runs U.S. foreign policy, for fuck’s sake, and when the Israelis still are decimating the Palestinians, whom they treat as the Nazis used to treat the Jews: like animals it’s OK to slaughter.

All of that said, if I could do it over again, I might not have made the remark about the fact that they are making too damned many movies about Nazis these days in front of the Jewish baby boomer who wears a tacky holographic Star of David pendant around his neck for the whole world to see what a poor fucking “victim” he is. (I guess that I need to go out and get my tacky holographic pink triangle and wear it around my neck in order to be able to emotionally and socially manipulate others, too.)

But the Jewish victimhood thing needs to stop. Firstly, possessing a perpetual victimhood mentality doesn’t help any historically oppressed minority group; it only keeps that group down. Secondly, using the Holocaust for personal, political or social gain today spits in the faces of those who actually did suffer in the Holocaust, and it degrades and cheapens their involuntary sacrifices at the hands of the Nazis (about whom they really need to stop making any more movies). And thirdly, as I stated, it’s hard for me to look at how much power the Jews, as a relatively tiny group of people, disproportionately wield in the world, and still be able to call them victims, like I’m supposed to do like a good little goy or risk being labeled a Holocaust-denying anti-Semite.

You know, it seems to me that if you hate the Jews and really want to bring them down, you should treat them as nicely as humanly possible — thus eroding their bullshit claims of perpetual victimhood, which they use, rather effectively, to get what they want.

Ironically, the old coot who shot up the Holocaust Memorial Museum today only helped to bolster the image of the Jews as the perpetual victims, and in so doing he only shot his “cause” in the foot…

Update: The media are reporting now that, unfortunately, the security guard who apparently was shot by the 88-year-old white supremacist and anti-Semite James Von Brunn has died. The security guard is being identified as Stephen T. Johns, whose age I haven’t seen given yet.

Von Brunn was shot but survives, which is too bad; the wrong guy died in the shootout.

Update (June 11, 2009): So otherwise fairly intelligent people are asserting, or at least implying (such as here and here), that the Department of Homeland Security’s fairly recent report on the threat of homegrown right-wing terrorists has been validated by yesterday’s shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C.

Wow.

You wouldn’t call just one illness or even a handful of illnesses a “pandemic” and probably not even an “epidemic.”

Yet one shooting by one old crackpot hater who apparently acted alone validates the Department of Homeland Security’s report on the threat of homegrown right-wing terrorists?

The security guard who was killed yesterday by the white supremacist and anti-Semitic geezer at the Holocaust Memorial Museum was black, the media are reporting. I’m guessing that the guard wasn’t Jewish, but the shooting, because of its location, is further bolstering the Israel-first lobby’s victimhood status nonetheless. 

Aren’t there hate crimes, including murders, against gay men, lesbians and other non-heterosexuals every fucking day in the United States? Why isn’t that talked about as a widespread problem, but the shooting death of one person is?

Because the right wing is anti-non-heterosexual, don’t hate crimes against non-heterosexuals count as homegrown right-wing terrorism?

Not that historically oppressed minority groups need to engage in battles as to which group is more oppressed — I’ll never forget that many blacks, such as Jesse Jackson, have asserted that rights for non-heterosexuals are not civil rights, for instance — but please.

When you look at historically oppressed minority groups in the United States, Jews overall are doing pretty well, I think, and thus I see no need for their continued assertions of systemic victimhood (except, of course, that such bullshit assertions continue to get them even more).

All of that said, I want to make it clear that I oppose anti-Semitism if we define anti-Semitism as the hatred of an individual solely because he or she is Jewish.

I judge individuals based upon their words, deeds and political ideology (in which I include their moral beliefs and values), not their religious affiliation, even though I am not crazy about Christianity, Islam or Judaism or pretty much any organized religion.

Both of my state’s U.S. senators, for instance, are Jewish.

(So 100 percent of my state’s U.S. senators are Jewish, while only about 3 percent of my fellow Californians are Jewish.  A total of 14 U.S. senators, or 14 percent of the U.S. Senate, are Jewish; there will be 15 Jewish U.S. senators once Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race is finally decided, as both Democrat Al Franken and Repugnican Norm Coleman are Jewish. Jews comprise no more than 2 percent to 2.5 percent of the American population, yet they are wildly overrepresented in high political office. Two of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices, almost a quarter of them, are Jewish. But nooo, American Jews are such powerless victims!)

Anyway, as I was saying, I love Sen. Barbara Boxer. While I haven’t agreed with her 100 percent of the time, I think that because of her consistently progressive views and votes, she truly can be called a Democrat.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, however, whom I unfondly think of as Mrs. Joseph Benedict Arnold Lieberman, I cannot stand; she is a DINO (Democrat in name only). Her husband, Richard Blum, profited from the Vietraq War that Feinstein voted for, for starters. (Boxer, on the other hand, wisely voted against the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War in October 2002.)

Boxer also was the only U.S. senator with the cajones to speak out against the fixed presidential election in the pivotal state of Ohio in 2004.

I’d much rather have Boxer as president than the waffling, slick, trying-to-please-all-people, I-regret-that-I-voted-for-him Barack Obama, hands down.

And the list of Jews I find hot (JILFs, I call them) includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jon Stewart and “Saturday Night Live’s” Andy Samberg. And, as I just alluded to, I love Jewish liberals; some of the finest liberal minds are Jewish.

It’s the right-wing Jews I can’t stand, those Jews who scream “Jewish victimization!” but who have no problem with the war crimes and the crimes against humanity committed in the Middle East by Israel and who supported the plunging of the United States into the illegal, immoral, unprovoked, unjust and wholly unnecessary Vietraq War, which resulted not only in the unnecessary deaths of thousands upon thousands of people, civilians and soldiers, but also depleted the U.S. treasury and stretched the U.S. military thinly, as well as making the United States and Americans even more hated around the world than they were before Sept. 11, 2001. 

The members of the Israel-first lobby in the United States are, by definition, traitors, for they put outside interests above the interests of their own nation.

P.S. To be fair, many also are pointing to the recent assassination of abortionist George Tiller in Kansas as further proof that Homeland Security’s report about the threat of homegrown right-wing terrorism was right on target.

I’m just not so convinced that these incidents of homegrown right-wing terrorism, as wrong as they are, are more than the number of them that we could expect anyway, statistically speaking. Again, a few events don’t make for an epidemic or pandemic, in my book.

And I still have a problem with the fact that hate crimes against non-heterosexuals don’t garner nearly as much outrage as do hate crimes against other historically oppressed minority groups.

I mean, from what I can tell, not a single Jew was killed yesterday at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, but the Jews are getting tea and sympathy over the tragedy nonetheless.

P.P.S. How could I have forgotten the iconic Harvey Milk in my list of Jews I love? I love the man, and, as I have written, I want to see a Harvey Milk Day in California.

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Tomorrow, tomorrow! I’ll love ya — tomorrow! You’re always a day away!

“For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait.’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ ”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m sick and fucking tired of equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals always elusively being just somewhere up the road.

But what’s up the road is just a fucking mirage that, when you get upon it, fucking disappears.

If I hear just one more time the “argument” that we can’t give non-heterosexuals equal human and civil rights right now because right now we have other things to deal with, I just might go postal.

Two give just two examples, there is this (from The Associated Press today):

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s top military adviser said [today] the Pentagon has enough challenges — including two wars — without rushing to overturn a decade-old policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military and incites political and social factions on both sides.

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he is working on an assessment of what — if any — impact overturning “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies would mean for the military and its culture. In the meantime, the Pentagon plans to follow the existing rules, which say gays and lesbians can serve in the military if they do not disclose their sexuality or engage in homosexual behavior….

During his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to overturn the Clinton-era policy and promised that gays and lesbians could serve openly in uniform. But he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January….

Wow. Did the U.S. military bigwigs — most of them presumably straight white males, of course — say the same thing, I wonder, during the years before and after President Harry S. Truman signed an order in 1948 to racially desegregate the armed forces? That they had more pressing matters to attend to? That the racial desegration of the armed forces would just have to wait?

Stopping discrimination against non-heterosexuals in the armed forces does not require the armed forces to do anything. It requires them to stop doing something: to stop discriminating, to stop treating a class of Americans as less than equal.

Equal human and civil rights are inalienable rights, which means that these are rights that all individuals are to have right now — not at some vague point in the future when the majority oppressors feel that they have crossed off enough items on their to-d0 lists to finally fucking let some historically oppressed minority group have its equal human and civil rights.

There is nothing to argue about. Discrimination against a class of people in the U.S. armed forces is a violation of inalienable rights and thus is constitutionally illegal as well as morally wrong.

If the U.S. military truly cannot eliminate “don’t ask, don’t tell” while simultaneously performing its other functions, then the United States of America is frighteningly unsafe because its military cannot walk and chew gum at the same fucking time. (But don’t fear, because of course the U.S. military can end “don’t ask, don’t tell” right now.)

To give another more personal and more local example, on Friday I attended a small gathering at the California state Capitol to observe what would have been gay-rights icon Harvey Milk’s 79th birthday.

In response to the coverage of the small event on the Sacramento Bee’s website, some assbite dipshit left this comment: “Another example of how these lawmakers have their priorities all messed up and why our state is the way it is. Not only this but having frog jumping contests, etc., is crazy when they should be taking care of this budget! The longer they wait the worse it gets for the rest of us.”

You know, I highly doubt that even though the Milk birthday gathering was led by state Sen. Mark Leno, the gathering had any appreciable adverse impact on the state’s current budget crisis. My guess is that Repugnican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been the state’s CEO for more than five years now since the gubernatorial do-over — er, recall — election of 2003, is a lot more at fault for the state’s budget meltdown than are we non-heterosexuals (and friends) who observed Milk’s birthday at the Capitol on Friday.

Another asshole left this anonymous comment: “With the budget crisis, why is the the state wasting money on this????”

My impression of the event — which, unlike the anonymous asshole who left the anonymous comment, I actually attended — is that the state most likely did not pay for the event, but that the event was paid for by a private party or parties. But not actually knowing whatsofuckingever who actually paid for the event didn’t stop Captain Anonymous from just assuming that “with the budget crisis,” the “state [wasted] money” on the birthday observance for Milk.

Further, if the state Legislature truly cannot walk and chew gum at the same time (as the U.S. military apparently can’t, either) — then we Californians are far more fucked than we even realize.

Where it comes to equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals, it isn’t about the money and it isn’t about competing priorities. Excuses like that are just a smokescreen for the fucking fact that the homo-haters just don’t want to grant non-heterosexuals equal human and civil rights and are just throwing out excuses to drag their feet.

We non-heterosexuals cannot wait for that day that will never come. The mirage just up ahead in the road always vanishes and then another mirage appears, only to vanish also.

If we non-heterosexuals want our equal human and civil rights — our inalienable rights that we should have had from Day One — then we need to fight for them, not wait for them.

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