aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, November 17, 2006
Blond Bond: a hunk not a babe!
They said Daniel CraigÃ‚’s ears stuck out. They called him Mr. Potato Head. They jeered when, traveling by motorboat to meet the press, he wore a life preserver over his suit. They spread the rumor that he didnÃ‚’t know how to drive a stick shift.
But now even the meanest-spirited, most Sean Connery-nostalgic critics in Britain seem to have been charmed out of their bad attitudes by Mr. CraigÃ‚’s performance as a gritty, steely James Bond in the latest Bond film, Ã‚"Casino Royale.Ã‚” Contrary to their predictions, they say, the 38-year-old Mr. Craig is not too blond, too wimpy, too dough-faced or too lightweight for the part.
And a vision in blue:
He proves his fitness for naval and other duties to fine advantage in an erotic (or homoerotic; take your pick) scene in which he emerges from the water in a sky-blue bathing suit that manages to be sexily short and tight without venturing into embarrassing Speedo-land.
The scene brings to mind Ursula AndressÃ‚’s famous bikini moment in Ã‚"Dr. No,Ã‚” the first Bond film, except that this time the sex object is a hunk, not a babe. Barely able to contain himself as he described it in The Guardian, Paul Flynn said he found the scene Ã‚"so scorchingly hot I feel embarrassed watching it, even when alone.Ã‚”
Here‘s the Guardian piece.
Tango saga continues
A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book’s availability to children _ and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.
The concerns are the latest involving “And Tango Makes Three,” the illustrated children’s book based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City’s Central Park Zoo that adopted a fertilized egg and raised the chick as their own.
Complaining about the book’s homosexual undertones, some parents of Shiloh Elementary School students believe the book _ available to be checked out of the school’s library in this 11,000-resident town 20 miles east of St. Louis _ tackles topics their children aren’t ready to handle.
Their request: Move the book to the library’s regular shelves and restrict it to a section for mature issues, perhaps even requiring parental permission before a child can check it out.
You’ve got to love this:
Lilly Del Pinto thought the book looked charming when her 5-year-old daughter brought it home in September. Del Pinto said she was halfway through reading it to her daughter “when the zookeeper said the two penguins must be in love.”
“That’s when I ended the story,” she said.
That’s exactly right Lilly, we can’t have that now can we?!?!?!? Not love!!! Especially in a true story about nature no less.
Give me a break…
NOTE: The cute little penguin in the picture has nothing to do with this story. It was the best penguin picture I had and it came from the ridiculous but fun story from early last year of the penguins put through airport screening devices at Denver International Airport.
LATER: Another report from the St. Louis Dispatch on Sunday.
Casino Royale: Bond stripped bare
Blockbusters make it here; maybe I’ll go tonight:
In Martin Campbell’s blissfully entertaining “Casino Royale,” the 21st picture in the 007 franchise, Craig is Bond reinvented and reborn, a creature so unexpectedly distinctive that even though we all think we know what we want in a Bond, we could never have dreamed this one up. He’s not what we think of as the classic Bond type: His body isn’t a tuxedo-ready balanced equation but a wedge of muscle that demands clever tailoring. His profile, with its coulda been a contender nose, is so strong and beautiful it wouldn’t be out of place on a Greek amphora—yet his ears, jutting out with boyish awkwardness, look more like the handles. But his charisma both overrides and enhances any physical attributes. Emerging from the sea after a swim with his lady love, he’s a scrappy blond god in tiny blue swim shorts; the moment is a clear visual nod to Ursula Andress in “Dr. No,” but also an unwitting reference to Venus on the half shell. This is Bond as we’ve never seen him, more naked, alive and mysterious than ever.
“Casino Royale” is almost everything you want in a Bond movie, as well as everything you didn’t know you wanted. Campbell has directed one other Bond picture, the 1995 “GoldenEye.” But “Casino Royale,” at least in terms of its action sequences, takes more of its cues from Campbell’s two terrific Saturday-afternoon swashbucklers, “The Mask of Zorro” and “The Legend of Zorro.” Over the past 20 years or so, the Bond movies have become increasingly encumbered by big explosions and noisy effects, at the expense of clever stunts and, often, wit. But Campbell brings to “Casino Royale” a clear love and respect for pure action: There are a few explosions here and there, but the action sequences really dominate. And if this is one of the darkest Bond movies ever made—we’re meeting Bond near the beginning of his career, just after he’s been promoted to double-0 status, and he’s clearly having trouble putting his thuggish instincts to use in international espionage—it’s also one of the funniest. (This is a Bond picture in which 007 can joke about chocolate, as well as martinis.) The picture’s violence is at times brutal, but it always has the appropriate weight: It’s neither frivolous nor excessively heavy-spirited. READ ON
Me & the gayby boom
When the notion of adoption comes up in our house, I balk. This, from a major article coming this weekend (link when it’s available) in the NYTimes’ Magazine, is more my style:
R. had always loved being around kids, particularly his niece and nephew, whom he saw often. But like many gay men, R. never thought of himself as a likely candidate for fatherhood. He always felt that parents opting to raise a child alone were choosing a rocky road, and at the time, R. himself had no long-term partner. He did, however, have an ex-boyfriend who had started a donor relationship with two lesbians; it seemed to be going well. He quickly became taken with the idea. Having a child of his own, he thought, would mean creating a relationship more intense and involved than what he had with his siblings’ children. “I guess I felt that maybe I wanted to have some kind of more lasting relationships in my life,” he said. “I said I was interested.Ã¢â‚¬Â�
And thus began a series of conversations. R. made it very clear that he had no ambition to be a primary parent and that he was happy to renounce his parental rights. (The latter is crucial to many lesbian couples, allowing the nonbiological mother to adopt and protecting her bond with the child in the event of the death of, or separation from, the biological mother.) Nevertheless, R. saw himself playing a significant role in the child’s life. “I saw myself holding a baby,” he said. “I wanted a child to be part of my life. I wanted to have a relationship with somebody that was in some sense unconditional, that wasn’t subject to the fading whims of friendships. And I don’t think it’s because I was not finding commitment somewhere else. I wanted to develop a relationship where I was nurturing somebody in a consistent way. I wanted to show up and be part of a child’s life in a significant way.”