aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
He plays one on TV
In her piece purporting to ask, can gay actors play straight men? Sacha Zimmerman professes her undying love for now out - ”[I] am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest” -
actor Neil Patrick Harris and his sitcom, How I Met Your Mother:
[N]ever did I expect to be so tickled by his portrayal of Barney on a silly sitcom.
And yet, tickled I am. While his sexy, female conquest is in the bathroom, Barney casually writes a goodbye note: “Dear Resident ...” He has a secret life in Atlantic City gambling with Chinese business men. He sets his friend up with a Star Wars-quoting hooker. He splurges on pedicures--the very epitome of metrosexuality. And he effortlessly turns double dates into threesomes: “Girls, bad news. Marshall got sick.” It’s utterly crude and inane, and Harris makes every moment worth it. That it turns out he is gay makes it doubly delicious, like Harris is throwing us all a wink: Watch how good I am! Because that gay dude plays one hell of a womanizer. If Hollywood studios recoil at the idea of putting an actor like Harris in a leading-man role, it is their loss. He seems tailor-made for a romantic comedy. Besides, if gay men can ogle Ledger and Gyllenhaal (or Brad Pitt or Patrick Dempsey), why can’t straights have crushes on gays (I love you, Rupert Everett!)?
Harris came out with finesse and a shrug. Maybe if other closeted actors did the same, we’d really find out what America thinks of gays playing it straight. If Harris is any indiction, America has no problem with it at all. “Mother“‘s ratings are strong, and there’s even an episode in the works featuring Wayne Brady as Harris’s biological black gay brother--seriously. That’s just not something I can resist. If Harris’s announcement does anything, maybe it will just serve to spotlight his quirky show and prove that Doogie’s got chops.
I saw Harris from sixth row seats play Tobias Ragg in the 2001 New York Philharmonic concert performance of Sweeney Todd at Lincoln Center. He was stupendous.
I’ve set my TiVo.
CBS on YouTube: building bridges not walls
PRESS RELEASE - One month after launching the CBS Brand Channel on YouTube, CBS’s daily feed of news, sports and entertainment clips have become some of the most widely viewed content on the site.
CBS has uploaded more than 300 clips that have a total of 29.2 million views on YouTube, averaging 857,000 views per day, since the service launched on October 18. CBS has three of the top 25 most viewed videos this month (Nov.1-17), including clips from CBS’s Tuesday night hit drama “NCIS,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “The Early Show.” The CBS Brand Channel is also one of the most subscribed channels of all time with more than 20,000 users subscribing to CBS programming on YouTube since the channel launch last month.
“Above all the other good news, what’s most exciting here is the extent to which CBS is learning about its audience as never before,” said Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive. “YouTube users are clearly being entertained by the CBS programming they’re watching as evidenced by the sheer number of video views. Professional content seeds YouTube and allows an open dialogue between established media players and a new set of viewers. We believe this inflection point is the precursor to many exciting developments as we continue to build bridges rather than construct walls.”
That’s great. But then what’s the deal with Comedy Central? It can only be a negotiating ploy. And I can only hope the ads we end up with are “click-to-play.”
I’m happy as can be to have the player all tarted up with ad text and logos; just please don’t force us to sit through video ads we don’t want.
A movement or a turd?
Fortune calls Newt Gingrich the ‘08 Stealth Candidate:
The radical realist who defied conventional wisdom 12 years ago by stealing the House out from under the noses of entrenched Democrats now plans a surprise attack for the presidency. “I’m going to tell you something, and whether or not it’s plausible given the world you come out of is your problem,” he tells Fortune. “I am not ‘running’ for president. I am seeking to create a movement to win the future by offering a series of solutions so compelling that if the American people say I have to be president, it will happen.” So he’s running, only without yet formally saying so.
Shelley Lewis, author of Naked Republicans: A full frontal Exposure of Rightwing Hypocrisy and Greed, wonders:
Wow. I’m picturing David Blaine, only chubbier, older and even more full of himself. So...if he’s not running, but he’s waiting for a sign that the American people want him to be president, what do we do, text message our votes, like on American Idol, or something?
I played tennis with Sam Walton
So brags Pat Boone. But Pat’s now feeling dissed by the folks at Wal-Mart:
I read yesterday that this venerable company, the international outgrowth of Mr. Sam's personal vision, has agreed to automatically donate 5 percent of online sales directly to the Washington, D.C., community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people! The cash donation will come from online purchases made at Wal-Mart through the homosexual group's website. Every purchase made online for books, music, videos, clothing and accessories, children's clothing and toys, and electronics will automatically send 5 percent of the sales to the CCBLBT organization.
Pat’s thrown his support behind the AFA drive to sign up 1,000,000 families to boycott WalMart; good luck Pat. I smell a Democratic opportunity.
My views have softened some on Walmart as the market has moved the merchandiser my way. And I’ve learned that much as I may bemoan their business practices, you just can’t fight the economics of their low prices.
Now that’s what Pat and the AFA are up against. So while they busy themselves with their fruitless boycott, I’d like to see us pick up some Walmart voters.
THE VERY NEXT DAY: AFA declares victory (as does HRC, gays still get $$$) and ends the boycott.
I’m not a racist
Now, who among us thinks s/he is? We can’t know, can we? It’s so much easier to identify racism in others. But what’s worrisome is that which we don’t see; that which we can’t see.
This was made clear to me by a story Malcolm Gladwell told in his 2005 South by Southwest keynote address. In it Gladwell recounts this story from the book…
It seems the great conductors of the world once innocently believed that men were innately better musicians than women and orchestras were male bastions. When one day, through a set of fortuitous circumstances, a male maestro auditioned a woman he thought was a man (she auditioned from behind a screen) he hired her. And when screens were broadly adopted it became clear to everyone that women were every bit as talented musicians as men.
What once was “obvious,” that men were better musicians, is now obviously not.
His story is to illustrate the power and peril of subliminal snap judgments. Says Gladwell:
[48:38] There are certain things about somebody that all of us are really really good at knowing right away, and certain things that we may think we’re good at knowing that we are profoundly not…
Sexual attractiveness, you can do like that…
When we have real experience with something we are good at making profoundly good snap judgments, but in almost every other situation where we do not have that level of expertise our snap judgments are bad. And as a society I feel we are way too cavalier about the products of our snap judgments.
After his talk, during the questions, Gladwell made this observation that I have seen made no place else:
[50:29] I have become convinced since writing this book that juries should never be able to see the defendants in a jury trial; that that is just crazy. Why? Because the kind of snap judgments a jury is likely to make about a defendant from seeing the defendant are all irrelevant…
Every year someone stands up and points out that there are huge differentials in the conviction rates and sentences for blacks and whites convicted of the same crime. And yet we make that observation and kind of shrug and say, “Well, that’s America.”
We don’t have to live with that. Why don’t we do something about it?
I would bet every dollar I own that if we put the defendant in a backroom and had the defendant answer all questions by email that the gap between black and white defendants, the sentences and conviction rates would shrink.
I absolutely believe that.
I do too.
NOTE: This post’s title is a quote from Richards’ apology.
Global Orgasm Day
Uh, on December 22 I’ll be sleeping at my parent’s house:
The mission of the Global Orgasm is to effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy. Now that there are two more US fleets heading for the Persian Gulf with anti- submarine equipment that can only be for use against Iran, the time to change Earth’s energy is NOW! Read more about the fleet buildup here.
The intent is that the participants concentrate any thoughts during and after orgasm on peace. The combination of high- energy orgasmic energy combined with mindful intention may have a much greater effect than previous mass meditations and prayers.
The goal is to add so much concentrated and high-energy positive input into the energy field of the Earth that it will reduce the current dangerous levels of aggression and violence throughout the world.
Global Orgasm is an experiment open to everyone in the world.
We hope the results will register on the worldwide monitor system of the Global Consciousness Project.
This is the First Annual Solstice Synchronized Global Orgasm for Peace, leading up to the December Solstice of 2012, when the Mayan Calendar ends with a new beginning.